Tattoos and Reviews

Where it ended.

Where it ended.

Just getting started.

Just getting started.

This is the template, not plans for an alien invasion.  I'm glad the artist could read it.

This is the template, not plans for an alien invasion. I’m glad the artist could read it.

I discovered something about myself yesterday. I am a wimp, the wimpiest wimp who over wimped, as I said on my Facebook post. I had an appointment to get a new tattoo, and could only do three and a half hours, so I ended up with roughly half a tattoo, untill I go back in two weeks for the rest. It was embarrassing. And it got me to thinking, is being such a weiner part of what is holding me back as a writer? Even watching such a beautiful picture emerge on my skin, a picture I shall have for life, wasn’t enough to keep me from agreeing to stop when it was offered. Is the same kind of weakness affecting me in literature as well?

No, I don’t think so. An author cannot be weak or afraid and survive the publishing process. No matter what you do, no everyone who reads your work is going to like or appreciate it. There are always people who will complain about your technical skills, your plotting, your characters, or just tell you that you suck. No writer is safe. Go ahead, read some of the comments out there about Stephanie Meyer, or read an article or two about how evil J.k. Rowling’s stories are. Not all feedback is good, constructive, or (as in Rowling’s case) sane. THe words in a bad review can prick as hard as any tattoo gun, and the sting lasts far longer. So, as I learned long ago, an author needs to develop a thicker skin, one that can bask in the good, absorb the helpful, and slough off the crap.

So, my writer friends, no matter if you are as successful as J.K. or as despised as the ten-year-olds on trying to write erotica, expect harshness. Expect flames. But don’t let them pull you down. And if there’s something useful hidden in there, use it. The tattoo will heal and turn into something gorgeous. Let criticism do the same for writing.

Author’s Website:
Magic’s Guardian for Kindle:
Magic’s Guardian for Nook:

The Work after The Work

I’m a published author, I’m a published author, I’m a published author! Self-published anyway, which isn’t a lot less work. Do I feel guilty calling myself an author? Pretty much. My biggest, fondest, most ardent dream right now is for someone to read my work and get some enjoyment from the experience. I don’t want it or mean it to change anybody. It is not intended as any kind of commentary on issues or a springboard for any kind of deep discussion, though a personal idea or two might make its way into what is really just a story.

Unfortunately, I suspect I’m a bit like those American Idol contestants who have been told their whole lives by Mommy that they’re superstar material. Anyone who has ever watched more than five minutes of one of the auditions knows the ones I speak of, those poor delusional sods who hear themselves as Elvis Presley or B.B. King while every else suffers bleeding eardrums. I have a really nasty feeling that I’m the literary version of William Hung, without the 15 minutes of fame.

Am I going to give up? Nope. I enjoy it too much. At least as an addiction it is fairly harmless. Though some members of my family might disagree about that, since I HAVE essentially given up on a social life. (Who needs it? Can’t get STDs or hangovers from writing. Besides, most of my friends moved away, and every time I try to go out, either I get sick, someone else gets sick, someone dies [true story], or something else happens. Or I’m just broke). If nobody likes the stories, too bad. I do.

And I will still Promote, Promote, Promote. Facebook Twitter, an author website, I’m doing everything you’re supposedly supposed to do. And I know 3-6 months is an early to average timeframe to start getting sales, so I won’t discount myself yet. More work is needed than just the writing part! Fortunately, at least some of the after work is fun, too.

Anyways, it’s up for sale. That makes me legit, right? Sure it does. Here’s proof:



Author page:

Good night, sweet writers. I wish you luck and many readers.

Writing is Work

The Big Day is almost here. It’s just a week to 01-13-13, and I have realized something. Writing is work. Not that I didn’t know that before, but when someone decides to publish, there is a bit less of the pure entertainment and a bit more of the career seriousness about it.

I now have not one but three email accounts, each with a different purpose. I posted a book preview on Youtube, and though it is far from perfect, more an experiment than what I would call an actual advertisement, I spent significant time and effort. I finally created a cover, using a photo I was actually quite impressed with out of my antique of a digital camera. I’ve begun researching tax laws (NOT fun). I’m trying to come up with other forms of marketing that won’t break my budget, including designing an author web page and figuring out how to do a Facebook fan page, just for starters. Fun, but intimidating. I spent roughly five hours making sure my manuscript is formatted correctly (and couldn’t keep the editing bug still even then, which only made it longer.) All after losing a day because of food poisoning/stress/upset (we lost two of our dogs on Wednesday. It was tough, and a shock, but the way they went downhill so fast at the same time was almost like they wanted to go together. I do love picturing them waiting at the edge of the Rainbow Bridge, fighting like siblings and driving God and His son crazy.) I’m exhausted. And I’m loving it.

It’s not that I expect the book to do well. I’ll be lucky to sell one. But that doesn’t mean I won’t take it seriously.

The sad part is I still don’t feel myself to be a “real” writer. I have no problem calling other self-published authors a legitimate author who has (at least usually) paid their dues in blood, sweat, and tears over their work. I have no issues with telling other self-published writers that they most definitely ARE real writers and have earned the title by the time and love invested in their words. But not me. I don’t feel “real” because I haven’t been chosen by a publisher or agent. I’m not a writer because millions of people worldwide have not read my stories. I suppose most people hold themselves up to the harshest criticism. Maybe someday I’ll feel worthy of my own words.

Alas, I have come to the end of my inspiration for tonight. Still feeling a bit weak after Friday night’s anything but fun. And I still have to come up with an author profile that doesn’t sound pretentious, like a Jersey Shore-worthy bragging session, or just plain pitiful. Yikes. Self-promotion is my Kryptonite.

Don’t let anyone tell you self publishing is the “easy” way. There’s no such thing as an “easy” way.

Good night, sleep tight . . . eh, you know the rest. And good writing.

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RIP Gizzmo and Frankie