On Editing…books, but more importantly, life.

“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. ” ― C.G. Jung

This week I’m working on edits the editor sent back for Somewhere With You. There’s something both freeing and frightening about seeing your work all covered in red and the realization that on page 144 that you’re still making the same damned mistakes you made on page 14. And then on page 145 you SWEAR to yourself you’ll never make that mistake again, because damn it you’ve just spent two days (or two weeks, or two months) of your life rectifying something so ridiculous.

But here’s the thing, or the lesson for me anyway: we make mistakes and hopefully we learn from them– but that doesn’t mean they all of a sudden stop showing up. Oftentimes, they do so over and over, and for what?  Just to make sure we really got it, this time? :) Your guess is as good as mine. It’s a funny thing, life’s way of testing us.

And while this may sound negative, it’s really not. I figure, if we aren’t messing up, we aren’t trying anything new, and if we aren’t trying anything new, we aren’t learning, and if we aren’t learning…well, in my opinion, we aren’t really living.

Speaking of that, recently, I did a little “spring cleaning.” I wiped my calendar (mostly) clean, removed several things that no longer felt right, in order to make room for those that are a little less “certain.” One of these things happened to be joining an indoor soccer league– which as it turns out, is, um, no joke. The last time I played soccer was 20 years ago and I clearly remember leaving the team due to my inability to take organized sports seriously. It seems not a lot has changed. :) It also turns out there’s a difference between having a competitive nature and a serious one. For me, the two do not appear to be mutually exclusive, :) Always a fun lesson to learn, for sure. So yeah, fail forward, I say. It’s pretty fun, pretty freeing, and pretty fucking scary. But scary trumps boring any day of the week.

“In life, there are no mistakes, only lessons.” ― Vic Johnson

Thoughts In A Coffee Shop.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ― Dr. Seuss

It’s Friday evening and I’m sitting in Starbucks–well into the final chapter of my upcoming novel. From here a final proofread and final edits on my part and then it’s off to the editor so she can work her magic. Victory is so close– I can almost taste it.

I’d like to mention that despite what the cover might suggest (with all its warmth and beauty) that Somewhere With You is not exactly a light and fluffy, feel-good read. It’s fun and charming in places, yes, but that’s not the whole of it. I’m just not sure I’ve mastered the art of light and fluffy–yet.  :)

In the meantime…below, is a little insight into the way a writers my mind works. It’s probably proof that it can be a scary and yet a thrilling place–always down the rabbit hole, so to speak. :)

As I sit here pondering my characters and the issues they face and how to wrap it up and tie it all together a van from an adult rehabilitation hospital pulls up and ten or so patients and their caretakers file out. I observe from a distance as they enter the coffee shop, place their orders; and suddenly I’m struck by the beauty of this life and all we take for granted. I’m struck by how self-centered we can be as human race, how we complain about anything and everything, not stopping often enough to be thankful for all that’s worth being thankful for. I type a sentence about this very thing and look up as one of the patient’s stops in front of me. He asks me what I’m working on, about the specifications of my computer, and we spend a few minutes chatting. He wishes me a good night and I think about chance conversations and how much they add to our lives. I think about the man who is walking away and all of the adversity he must have faced in his life–yet here he is finding pleasure in such small things, coffee and a conversation with a stranger. And I hope the conversation brightened his day as much as it did mine. I think about the aunt who helped raise me (she had muscular dystrophy) and how much her adversity has shaped my life. I recall the time she picked me up from kindergarten and fell as we were walking back to my house. I think about what it felt like to watch someone struggle to do something I considered so basic and yet feel so helpless, unable to do anything about it. I think about how she managed to get back up and how she still kept showing up day after day. Then, I consider my lack of tolerance for people who make excuses about why they “can’t” or “haven’t” and consider for the first time in a long time that maybe it’s ok to feel that way.

I watch the barista, how patient and kind she is and how she knows the patrons orders by heart and I’m suddenly a mess thinking about all the good there is to seen in this world—if only one looks for it.  I think about how sometimes we focus so much on the big things that we loose sight of the joy that can be found the seemingly insignificant.

I put my head down and go back to work. Three hundred or so words later I glance up and see a man coming up the street walking past the coffee shop towards the strip center. I realize then that this man is my father. And I wonder how it could be possible that the person responsible for putting me on this earth could be so close–and yet so far away. I do not leave the coffee shop to speak to him. I simply observe and get back to it. I type this and I contemplate the confluence of joy and pain. The paradox of beauty and heartache. I think about how it can be that a stranger can suddenly not be (a stranger) and one that shouldn’t be is…

Time Marches On.

Today marks one year since my Grandma died and quite frankly I just want to say that anyone who says it gets any easier is lying. It doesn’t get easier, not at all. Just different. For the past 365 days there hasn’t been one of them that I haven’t wished I could pick up the phone and call her or drive to her house and soak up all the advice I hadn’t asked for. Not one. My five year old daughter dreamt of her a month or so ago and I swear that the dream was so like my grandma, the things she would’ve said and things she would’ve done that it admittedly made even me go hmmm.

Anyway, I had intended to write something “eloquent” to mark the occasion (<–that’s my best shot at sarcasm) I really don’t have anything eloquent to say on the matter. That and I’m so close to deadline on my third novel that even if I did, there isn’t time. Which is probably a blessing, really. Any (eloquent?) thoughts I have on how bad it sucks to miss someone can be found in the book. ;) Speaking of time, I don’t know what it is about me…I give myself three to six months to write a book and then try to crank it out in three weeks. It’s almost as though I need the pressure. I try really hard not to beat myself up about this um…”process” I’ve created but…in the end I know myself and I’ve decided that maybe this just is my creative process. For me, I always find the story is in the story. It reveals itself when it reveals itself. It can’t be forced. It just is, if
that makes any sense.

To be honest, there has been so much fear around this book– although I’m not sure why. Since its inception I’ve so doubted my ability to pull it off. And I know, if I understand anything at all about marketing that I probably should not be telling you guys this. ;) But, I also know that fear and pressure push me. Tell me I can’t do something and…I’ll work ten times harder to do it. I’ll always be my toughest critic, anyway. The betas are loving it, so there’s that.

Lastly, there’s a PR book/cover reveal scheduled for sometime in March. Since you’re all so great I’ll announce it here first– sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m hiding out. Writing, writing, writing. And panicking. I’d forgotten how much I love this space. So, SO very much pressure. It’s fun, irrational, served up with a side of moody. And it seriously gives the term “March Madness” a whole new meaning. ;)

“I’ll Take Creativity for $200 please, Alex.”

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” ― Albert Einstein

First off, in book related news be sure to check out this week’s giveaway.

Speaking of creativity, perhaps the most creative endeavor I’ve ever undertaken has been parenting. Trying to raise creative and innovative human beings. In my house my kids aren’t allowed to say they’re bored. They’re encouraged to write and draw and read and tinker and to question why things are the way they are. But complaining you are bored is not allowed. It’s always been important to me to teach my children to come up with solutions to problems creatively and independently. So I’m really careful not to “over parent.” My philosophy has been that if you build trust with your kids by being open and honest with them while instilling a sense responsibility– that you’re pretty much golden. :) This may sound simple and it is and it isn’t. There’s a fine balance of knowing when to step in and when not to.

That said, there isn’t a topic or question around here that’s off-limits. I bring up the “uncomfortable” stuff (to the extreme, my kids would probably say) so that it doesn’t stay uncomfortable.  I want them question things and feel comfortable in doing so. I don’t nag them about homework or projects or taking care of their business because I’m ok with them “failing.” How else are they supposed to understand the repercussions of doing so AND develop an inner drive to succeed? It’s been my experience that when you give kids the space to question the way things are done and why, make decisions for themselves, and then question those decisions (together the younger they are and then on a  need be basis as they grow older) that they’ll usually surprise you with their intelligence. This also allows builds confidence by forcing them to trust themselves and their own intuition about things.

That said, my children know I have high expectations of them and that the freedoms (privileges) they have do not come without a price. I trust that they’ll come to me when they mess up and/or need advice and they do. In turn, they  not only hold themselves to a high standard but each other and those around them. It’s hard to explain but I’ve always found that people will generally rise up to meet the standards you expect of them.

Still, I’m pretty sure that there are probably about twenty percent of things involved with this whole parenting gig that I’m doing wrong… but every once and a while something pops up and shows me that I’m doing at least a few of things right. The letter below was one of those things. :)

It’s from one of my kids to the other after he was called out for not making the best decision and in turn lost some of his hard-earned freedom. It’s creative, I’ll give him that. :) But if you read between the lines a little (and use your imagination a lot) you’ll also see that it’s a very brotherly way of taking responsibility and admitting that you were wrong. Important life skills, I tell ya. :)

For those of you a little more on the “rational thinking” side of things the letter is meant to be a joke not taken literally. 

photo-1

Speaking of creativity, I found this video on the neuroscience and process behind it fascinating and well done.

In case you’ve forgotten, busy is a four letter word.

One of the common themes I heard last week during the women’s network event I hosted was that there are a lot folks are struggling with being overwhelmed because life has become “so busy.” I get asked often how I “do it all” and I always laugh because…uh, I don’t. If I had a nickel for every time someone said “I don’t know how you do it with five kids, I can barely manage with two” I could retire, yesterday. While, I’m more work-in-progress than expert on any of this, it seems to come up often so I thought I’d share what has worked for me. I’m not suggesting that my way will work for you. But I’m also not exaggerating, not even a little, when I say it changed my life.

I, for one, am really over the whole “busy” thing and have been for a while. Grief has been an excellent teacher in that regard. Maybe you get this a little more so when you lose people you love and have to process that death is not a destination. It’s not somewhere, down the road, waiting for you to get there. It’s coming for us all. So, yeah, it’s cliché to say but… life is short. And I found myself in a place where I had to ask what was most important that I got out of it. The result has been (dare I say it) that I’m immeasurably happier now. I spend time doing more of what matters: I read more, I play more, I laugh more. And I love more. The best part of it all is that I also do “nothing” more.

Unfortunately, it’s popular in our culture and even celebrated to be “busy.” You know how it goes, ask someone how they’re doing and they’ll usually respond by telling you how busy they are. And while I have nothing against hard work, I believe busy is possibly the worst four letter word there is. “Busy” gives us an excuse to say someday to the things we really want. We’re too busy now, so we say next time, later on. Busy becomes an excuse for not doing what we know we should be doing.

The lie we tell ourselves is that we’re busy now so we can “have it all” later. When the truth is, it’s impossible to do it all and do it all well. If you aren’t enjoying the journey, my guess is you’re sure as hell not going to enjoy the destination. When I realized this, which like most lessons was learned the hard way, I realized that it was imperative to determine what my priorities were, say no to the rest, which meant letting go, and trust that I was doing the right thing. At first, it felt really strange. I even wrote about it this time last year. 

If you want to get around the bullshit, cut through the red-tape and really get to know someone, try this, it blows minds. The next time you’re in a conversation ask the person you’re speaking with what they really want out of life. BUT only if you really care. And I do mean really care. First, this person will look at you like you’re crazy, then after you assure them that, yes, they heard you right and yes, you’re serious, they’ll usually offer up something arbitrary. But if you don’t let them off the hook, they’ll usually end by saying, well… in a perfect world_____. But since we’re most likely not ever going to live in a perfect world and because you’re going to need an answer when they turn the question back around on you (and they will) you’ll want to first ask yourself what it is you really want. And then begin each day by honestly answering whether or not what you’re spending you’re time doing is getting you there. It’s not easy. Being brutally honest, is scary. But so worth it, I think. For me, doing a few things really well feels a whole lot better than struggling to do many “just good enough.”

One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned was that if you take on more (and more and more) no one is going to stop you. They will let you do it. Have at it, they’ll say. This goes for bosses, spouses, children, and so on. The majority of people are not going to say “No! Wait! You know what…you have too much on your plate as it is. Let me handle that.” They’re just not. It’s up to us to set those boundaries. And it’s very hard to set them if you don’t know what your priorities are, if you don’t know what it is you want, what you’re working towards.

For example, this is how I determine what gets done on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. Every decision I make is made with my top three priorities in mind. Obviously, your priorities will likely be very different than mine– but I want to give you an idea nonetheless of how I broke it down to figure out what made most sense in my life. My top three are: my health, my family, and writing books. In that order. Health comes first because obviously if I’m not taking care of myself…I can’t very well take care of anyone else. For starters, exercise is very important to me. Not because I really like it but because I know that if I want to feel well (mentally and physically) and have the energy level I need to accomplish what it is I want to accomplish, I have to workout. I surround myself with people who are better, faster, stronger than myself (it’s motivating) and I schedule workouts like an appointment, an hour each day, at the same time, first thing in the morning. This way nothing else has the chance to interfere. Because if I let it, and I will, then it will. :) But this hour is my time and I’d be really annoyed with myself (and honestly everyone around me) if I couldn’t even take an hour for myself.

My family is my second most important priority, for me this means being there to pick up my children from school each day, spending the afternoon, evening, and weekends. This time is spoken for and comes before anything else I put on my calendar. Clearly, this may simply sound like motherhood in general–but what I’m trying to get across is that I (typically) don’t schedule work after 2:30 (at least not until they’re asleep) or on weekends. This way I don’t feel guilty over competing priorities. Work stays firmly in the work category. It also means that I have to be fairly smart about and extremely protective of the time that they’re in school.

Lastly, are my writing goals and running AWN. As far as writing goes, I have an idea of how much time it takes me to finish a book and I schedule writing time daily. Nothing else happens during this time, but writing. Unless it’s of greater importance–meaning it’s one of my first two priories. What works best for me is setting a daily word count goal by reverse engineering the number of words I need until completion and not letting myself quit until I’m there. Because there’s marketing and all the rest that goes along with writing–it’s too easy to do something else that is oftentimes less painful.

In terms of AWN and networking in general, unfortunately there’s a lot I have to say no to these days. It’s not fun– but I simply can’t have coffee with or accept every lunch invitation that comes my way, as much as I’d like to. The solution has been opening up a few time slots each month for this (typically before an event) and by attending at least one other large-scale event and inviting others to come along. It’s more fun that way. :)

The other thing I want to suggest, if you’re like me, and have found that you don’t have enough time for the number of people who want to meet with you and “pick your brain” then you may need to find a more effective way to meet their needs. Don’t be afraid to make it work for you, too. If you know me, then you know that I’m all for helping people. That is after all, why I believe that AWN has been as successful as it has. But again, this is where boundaries come in. You have to know where to draw the line, so to speak. If you find that you’re coming up against the same issue, the same questions, then it might be worth asking yourself if there’s a need (a market) for what you’re offering. Don’t be afraid to charge for your time. This could mean charging a consulting fee, it may mean setting up a seminar, or writing a book.

Long story short, it becomes a whole lot easier not to fall into the “busy” trap when you establish what is a priority and are ruthless in making sure what you’re doing is in line with that. It’s easy to say no if you understand that when you say yes, you’re often essentially letting something else go. And sometimes, there’s a higher price to pay than you realize…

P.S. In writing related news, I get asked a lot what is happening on the agent/publisher front (which probably deserves a whole blog post in itself) but for now I’ll just say that after really evaluating my options, my current and future goals, and then weighing all of that with the amount of freedom/flexibility I want to have, I decided to forgo the agent/publisher route and stick with what I’ve got going. :) In addition, the publishing landscape is changing so rapidly right now. But I won’t go in to all of that here. If you’re interested there’s a plethora of mostly decent information you can find on the interwebs starting here.

On The Importance of Truth-Tellers and Booking It.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

Excuses. I can make them with the best of ‘em. Being a writer–and by that I mean using my imagination on a daily basis to make stuff up, seeing things as I want them to be, well, I’ve always been pretty good at believing the stories I tell. Even the stuff I know doesn’t serve me well. I am the queen of buying my own bullshit.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten really good at surrounding myself with people who are willing to tell me the truth. Especially, when they know (and I know) it needs to be heard. Case in point: “Change isn’t supposed to be easy, Britney,” he tells me. “If it were easy, if accomplishing this came easily– don’t you think everyone else be doing it? Don’t you think you would’ve succeeded already? You want what you want. So, quit making excuses about it. You know what it is you need to do…do it. Start by putting the energy you’re expending now…whining to me to better use by just getting to it. YOU have to believe you can do it. Not me. Not anyone else. You’re right that it takes seeing what isn’t there. But you know how to do that.”

Hmmm. Hard to argue with that. ;)

It would’ve been pretty easy to call up someone who I knew would let me play small. Someone who would pacify me, tell me that it’s all right, that there’s always next time, next year…sometime in the future. But these days, I know better. And that has been the greatest gift. My hope is that you also have truth-tellers in your life. It’s liberating, that’s for sure.

Now, on to book news… I’m really pleased with how things are going since the release of Breaking Bedrock last month. It was a little nerve-wracking to write a sequel, seeing that many sequels aren’t received well. It was also different knowing that there was an expectation, something I had to live up to. But thus far, both books are selling well and the reviews have been favorable. Thank you all for making it what it is.

Next week the blog tour kicks off. I’m excited to see what folks have to say as many of the bloggers are reading Bedrock for the first time. Also, I’m told there will be giveaways. Keep an eye out for those via FB and Twitter.

Speaking of giveaways…I’m starting a new “Friday thing” called BGIF (Be Glad It’s Friday or Britney’s Glad It’s Friday, whatever ;) where I’m giving away my books as well as spreading the love by giving away books I’ve read and enjoyed. The first one is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I think this book may be one of my all-time favorites. I read it in a day and it caused a (book) hangover for weeks. I still think about it. More on that, here.

As for what I’m working on now, a third novel, (perhaps a series, I’m still deciding) well…I’m not going give too much away just yet…but the photographer and cover designer have been booked…so, more details soon.

Seek and Ye Shall Find…

“It is my belief that love is mostly about showing up. It’s about showing up in the good times. And especially in the bad. It’s about being there, showing up, and continuing to show up. If you can do these things day in and day out, no matter what life brings you, you’ll find that love is there for the taking. In time you might come to find that while it’s not in the form you may have imagined—or necessarily the way that you thought it would be—it’s there nonetheless.”– Britney King, Breaking Bedrock 

First of all, I finding quoting myself quite odd, it’s the first time I’ve ever done it… and I’ll probably never do it again. :) Still, I couldn’t really think of a better quote for what I wanted to write about today. After my last post, having received so many thoughtful, kind responses I’ve struggled a little with the words; how to say that yes, loss sucks. And yes, there are sad days. But…at the same time there’s still so much joy. In fact, I’m not really sure if it’s possible to know such extreme joy and as much love– without having known loss.

Obviously, we all want to suffer as little as possible in this lifetime so I guess what I’m struggling with is how to say that there’s beauty, joy, and love even in the most devastating of times. That’s it’s not all black and white. And not only that, but the joy, and the love is magnified that much more when you’ve dabbled in the opposite.

Which is why I think it’s important to save up for those times when the pain outweighs the joy. It’s why I believe investing in people, places, hobbies…all the “things”, whatever and whomever bring you joy is so important. I think in our day-to-day lives it can become too easy to focus on “surviving”, on getting ahead, keeping our head above water, that we overlook the people and the “things” which bring us true happiness. We take these things for granted and we become pretty good at saying “someday.” Someday I’ll get to that. Someday, maybe tomorrow, I’ll make that call. Someday… I’ll get around to taking that art class or making that trip. The problem with this, I have found, is that someday, though hopefully not soon, you may need to spend that currency which you’ve put off saving up. It’s unfortunate, but I know a lot of people tend to think of currency solely in terms of money. I’d like to counterpoint that currency is a lot things: energy, love, joy… and not that I know personally;) but I’m guessing that all the money in the world will not buy you what it is you’ll need when you’re at your worst.

Anyway, with the holiday’s approaching, I really wanted to give thanks. I consider myself one of the luckiest girls in the world to be surrounded by so many wonderful people, doing that which brings me joy everyday. So…while, yes, this has been a difficult year in terms of grief, it’s also been one of the best years of my life. I’ve lost a lot. But I’ve gained a lot, too.

P.S. This short (15 minute) film perfectly encapsulates everything (and more) I’m trying to say here. Not only is it incredibly moving but it’s further proof, that if you just look hard enough, amidst the pain, the chaos, and the mess there is beauty. And so much love. You should watch it. Really, you should. Today…not someday. ;) xx

The Stories We Tell…

“You can decorate absence however you want- but your still gonna feel what’s missing.” ― Siobhan Vivian, Same Difference

Just checking in to say, that I’m so close to the finish line with Breaking Bedrock that I swear can almost see it. But, I also want to say that… you guys, this story is gutting me. I’m actually happy that it’s grey and rainy and turning colder here because I’ve seriously been making excuses as to how many days I can go without leaving the house, save for taking the kids to and from school- and that’s saying a lot because I’m the most social person I know.  It’s almost like this book, these characters are changing me. Or maybe they’re just giving me an outlet for grief, I don’t know. Perhaps, a little of both, I guess.

The other day my toughest beta reader gave me some advice telling me I need to “get to the point.” To which I promptly asked “What is the fucking point when you love someone so much and you’re missing them that bad? How exactly are you supposed to put all of THAT into words and wrap it up with a pretty bow? I mean…how many of us are capable of being truly brave when it comes to love?!? ” And then I considered that maybe he was right and so I put on my big girl pants and went back and did a rewrite that was so emotionally raw, I still don’t think I can read it back. I’m thinking…I’ll just let my editor deal with it. ;)

Anyhow, here’s to friends who call, to let you say what you need to say, even if you cry a little, or a lot, and then make you laugh so hard, you choke on your oatmeal. For people who give you what you need and then tell you to get back to it. For songs that say what you wish you could. For colder weather, and for rain that matches your mood. For books that make you feel. For lovers who bring out the best and the worst in you, and everything in between. For these things, I am grateful.

Head Down & Going Under.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

I’m drowning in words and word counts over here, my eyes keep crossing, I’ve got the blank stare thing going on, and I can only move my neck to the right. But I guess all that’s to be expected when one forgets how to pace themselves. That and of course it’s probably just what happens when and if ones characters decide to start being little shits,and inform you that what you’ve written for over the past six months, is no where near worthy or deserving enough of how their story should unfold.

So…for the past week and a half the voices in my head have practically forced me to write over 3K words per day– that’s about 6+ hours of straight up writing (for me), in case you’re wondering. As of today, I have about 25K to go to get Breaking Bedrock where it needs to be before my deadline. WHICH IS IN ELEVEN DAYS. AND IF YOU CAN’T TELL BY THE CAPS, I’M FREAKING OUT ABOUT. JUST A LITTLE BIT. ;)

Anyhow, today also marks the start of NaNoWriMo and I have to admit that this year I’m “cheating” a little bit. Well, I’m not exactly cheating per se, but instead of writing an entire novel, the first 25K words I need to “win” will go to BB, and the second half of them to a new project, a standalone, which I’m excited to get started on.

The good news though is despite the fact that I can’t see straight, I’m getting decent feedback from the betas, which helps a lot, and kinda sorta makes up a little for all the work my characters urged me to scrap. Also, my husband happens to be beta reading for me this time and he sent me a text the other day which read: “MOST ENGAGING CHAPTER YET” and he’s so tough, you guys (seriously you have no idea), that I’m feeling pretty good about where the story is heading.

Now, back to it, but first a teaser from Bedrock:

collage 4

P.S. This is what I’ve written to this week:

AND THIS:

P.S.S. There’s a giveaway for Bedrock going on over here.

Note to self.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise ErdrichThe Painted Drum LP

I find it’s always a pleasant surprise when life offers up something that makes you realize that perhaps you’ve grown more into what it is that you are meant to be. Funny though, how it has a special way of making sure it’s special ordered just to suit your needs. A few situations over the past week and a half have shown up and brought with them the realization it’s nice to finally come to a place where you can clearly discern what is and what isn’t worthy of your time, worry etc… The road goes on. And the party never ends. ;)

Anyway, so I happened upon a not so nice, at least ten paragraph review the other day, and you guys, I actually laughed about it. Which says a lot…I’ll never forget reading my first review of the sort and how it made me feel. I was at the beach on vacation with my family and I stupidly let it ruin nearly an entire day. Don’t get me wrong; I clearly expected that bad reviews would come. But admittedly, and to my detriment, I never expected the outright mean ones. In my naiveté, I didn’t foresee people not only picking my work apart but being so cut throat while doing it. So when I stumped upon the latest nasty review the other day and found that it didn’t bother me in the least what this person thought of me or the book… I realized I’d turned a corner. Instead of being upset about it, I was simply grateful that she’d read the book. And while most of what she had to say wasn’t productive, I was able to take a few tidbits and use them in book two. :) Because here’s the thing… I didn’t write a “safe” book. I wrote about hot button topics and, so, yeah, I should’ve probably prepared myself a little better that those topics might not sit well with some people. I should’ve expected the extreme polarity in either loving or hating the book…and I didn’t. I just kind of assumed that people would understand that novels are fiction and more importantly that I am not my characters. But those assumptions were dead wrong.

All that said, the process has been a learning experience for sure. For starters, I’ve learned that it’s best not to assume anything. People are going to have an opinion of you one way or another- and usually it has more to do with themselves and their beliefs, than it does you or yours. It’s more important to embrace the people who love you and spend your time there than it is to try to change the opinions of those that don’t. Sure, it would’ve been nice to “get” this all beforehand…but life assures me there’s no fun in that. ;)

Lastly, some housekeeping stuff:

  1. Word has it that Bedrock is going to be featured in the November issue of Austin Woman Magazine so, if you’re local, keep an eye out.
  2. Bedrock will be making its way around via a blog tour from 10/21-10/25. I’m told there will be giveaways and I’ll be posting updates over on Facebook & Twitter that week.
  3. I’ll be signing at The Texas Book Festival on 10/27/13 from 3-4 pm in the Writer’s League of Texas booth. Come say hello. But, please, only if you’re nice.
  4. There’s also an author event planned at BookPeople on January 10th at 7pm, which I’ll be a part of… so save the date. Rumor has it champagne will be involved…

P.S. Here’s what I’ve written to this week. Please note it’s likely to be highly offensive for some people. You’ve been warned. For me though…it did the job. :)