New Year’s Eve Breakfast Pie. O.o

It only seems a bit fitting that my 100th post on here is coming on the last day of the year. I can’t say I have a crapton of resolutions (I stopped making lists of those a long time ago), but I do have goals I intend on reaching in 2014. I’ll keep them to myself to ensure no jinxing takes place.

I can’t remember the first time I heard, “What you do on New Year’s is how you’ll spend the rest of your year.”

It’s BS, obviously. I can’t remember a single New Year’s that set the tone for an entire year. Still, on the off-chance that it might work this year, I have a plan for the next two days…

As I sit here eating my breakfast pie (yes, I am eating pie – my favorite pie, actually – for breakfast, and I am eating breakfast at 3PM), I’m determined to spend the next two days doing a few things. I’m going to edit the fourth (and last) book in the Reave series, because I effing love that one and I want to do it. I’m not going to freak out about how far behind I am at responding to comments on here, or on Twitter. I’m not going to stress out about Reave. In fact, I have absolutely zero intention of stressing out about anything. We’ll see if I can accomplish that, but it’s the plan.

So give me a couple more days to be behind and then I’ll catch up. I think I’ve given myself about a thousand more grey hairs (which will get dyed over when they grow out, just like the rest -_-) since Christmas eve alone, because all I’ve been doing is freaking out about how behind I am. So…I’m putting it out of my head to ensure I don’t lose my mind.

Gonna hang out with some of my family this evening. Do as much editing as I can fit in. And you know what? I might do a bit of gaming between now and the end of my little mental-well-being-break. I dunno. I might even eat more pie. We shall see.

Wish me luck on not stressing. And I wish that all of you have an absolutely spectacular New Year’s and new year. 🙂

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Random holidayness and stuff. (*ding*)

After a few hectic days, things are trying to get settled back into normalcy. Husband and I went to visit his family Christmas Eve/early Christmas. It was really enjoyable (as always, because his family is awesome). Got to talk about Reave with some of his family, which (of course)…mind blown. I wonder if I’ll ever stop being surprised by people liking it, but…I don’t want to stop being surprised by it because I feel that would essentially make me an arrogant A-hole. Still, it would be nice if the level of surprise could go down just a smidgen or two. (Can there be two smidgens? I say there can be multiple smidgens regardless of knowing it would just be smaller or larger singular smidgens.)

It would be REALLY nice if my anxiety level could go down about…ten million smidgens (or one extremely large smidgen, which would not actually be a smidgen). It’s been pretty bad lately, even around my family (who I see all the time). I noticed a week or two ago that I’ve started having issues even with speaking to them (stammering badly). And I think my hands have been shaking for the past four or five days straight. I don’t even want to mention the amount of sweating that happened with the in-laws (AND IT WAS SO COLD UP THERE!). All of it’s just ridiculous, especially so with the people I see/interact with all the time. It might be general stress setting it off and making it worse, but I can’t be sure. Either way, all of you out there in BlogLand should be glad you don’t have to interact with me in person.

Speaking of interacting in person. I’m still not used to talking to people who have read my books (minus a very small handful of people), so that’s been really strange. Just talking to people (when I can manage to get a few sentences out without sounding like a complete moron) and them actually knowing what I’m talking about with it. Or more so them talking to me about something I wrote, which is just…insane.

(Or hearing, “So and so read your book and they loved it.” Crazy.)

In other news, I’m slowly conquering my fear of Twitter. I’ve even made a new best friend on there, so that’s cool. (You can find his website here, and it tells all about his books and whatnot. He’s super awesome, so you should definitely check that out, especially if you’re into Fantasy and YA genre(s).) Apparently I can make friends even with my general awkwardness and declarations of a person being moved to BFF status after a few interactions. Twitter can definitely be an interesting place. (Is it a place? >.>)

So yeah, the holiday was good, apart from being stuck in a car for hours upon hours, then having The Migraine From Hell for several days in a row. It hit me the worst Christmas day, which I’ll say was likely due to a lack of coffee, sleeping awkwardly on an air mattress, my neck being garbage, and my hair being ridiculously long again. I AM glad to be rid of the blond though…not that there’s anything wrong with blond hair, but I had for enough time to suit me. Wow, digress much?

As much as I enjoyed the past few days, I’m looking forward to getting back to work. I feel lost when I’m not doing it.

Also, I need to apologize to all my in-laws for having to deal with me. I’m still hoping I don’t come across like as big of a mess as I actually am…

Actually…I need to apologize to anyone who ever speaks to me in person about my book (or sometimes just speaks to me in general, but especially about the book). My mouth-filter doesn’t work very well when my brain is malfunctioning due to anxiety. So when you say, “I love your book!” and I say, “That’s surprising. I thought everyone would think it’s garbage,” what I REALLY mean is… “I’m so glad. You have no idea what that means to me.” Sometimes that filter malfunctioning even extends to my fingers, so yeah, I’ll occasionally type things of that nature too. Occasionally might be a bit of a slight under-exaggeration. I have problems. One of those is a rather large lack of faith in myself. Another of those is not taking compliments well. When you add those up…well, you usually get the word ‘garbage’ in some way or another. It’s been one of my favorites lately.

Also…When most of your Christmas presents include pajamas, fuzzy socks, Starbucks gift cards, and candy? Well…it makes you realize that some people know you pretty dag on well. 🙂

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas (or whatever holiday(s) potentially celebrated recently), full of wonderful experiences that don’t involve you being unable to speak in a satisfactory way to your family, sweating, migraines, etc. 🙂

Aster

Reave has been live for…seventeen days now, and I’m no closer to accepting it being ‘out there’ as I was when I said I was trying to maintain some semblance of dissociation from it for my mental well-being. Somewhere in my mind I’m completely acknowledging the fact that, yes, it is out there and, yes, people are reading/have read/will read it. The positive feedback has blown my mind, I’ll say that again. (I’ll probably keep saying it.) Seeing people post things about it on Facebook, or randomly finding a new review has just been…fantastic. (I could make a comment here about Blades of Glory and the ‘mind-bottling’ remark.)

In a commenting back-and-forth with Ben from over at BensBitterBlog (If you’ve never seen his blog…you need to), I got inspired to post an entry. This is it, by the way. And this entry right here is entirely (mostly, knowing me) about the main character in Reave, Aster.

I’d contemplated making a post about her before, but that’s tricky for me. One of the things I’m most looking forward to as the series goes along – receiving input about it – is hearing opinions on Aster’s development. So what can I say without giving away too much? That’s the question.

I’ve felt it was almost impossible to dance around characters in a blog entry because the characters dance around themselves in the books. (Spend a moment trying to imagine how that works. If anyone figures out how it’s possible, let me know. I’m at a loss. Made sense in my head.) So what could really be said?

There’s never been much of a debate over whether I was going to write about something on here. If I wanted to, I did. If I maybe did, I didn’t. Simple as that. (An example to the contrary is the post I made about sleeping. I’d take it down if it wasn’t the entry that got the most hits off Google. And it might be a bit evil of me, but I seriously LOVE the search terms I occasionally see because of it.)

The point of that digression is: When having to ask myself so many questions about if I DID want to write about her, to let people get to know her a bit more…The answer was no, due to the questioning involved. But I think I might be able to manage it (if I could EVER get to the point in an entry).

Aster began as a product of my first series. The main character in it was……a brute, to be honest. It was fun at first, but then it was just…too much. (She was also an absolute MORON, but that is NOT the point.) So when I sat down to write Reave – putting the Reapers out of my mind and focusing on the MC – I knew…I wanted her to start weak. Now, if you’ve read Reave, or if you’ve even read a BIT of Reave, you probably already know…

Aster is ANYTHING but weak.

Mentally.

Even from the get-go, she looked at me and said, “I will not have this.” So, I wrote her how she was, then got dragged along behind her (and a few other characters) for the four books I’ve written and all the bits of ones I’ve only written in my head. I don’t have a problem saying that’s how she is. It’s apparent from Chapter One.

I’ll admit there were times during my multiple edits where I sat here in my chair, openmouthed, over certain aspects. You see, it’s probably not that noticeable with the first, but these books were made to be re-read. I know a lot of people aren’t re-readers, and that’s fine. I feel you can read through each book once and find yourself satisfied (unless you hate it/them, in which case…I’m sorry). I can’t say I designed them that way (I wrote them, but being a pantser…I only have so much to do with it), but I can say I tweaked it to make it fit the way it naturally wanted to be. And the series says, “I promise you’ll find something you didn’t the first time if you just READ ME AGAIN after you hit a certain point.”

Then again, I found things I didn’t initially find when reading through Twilight more than once. So………………………………………………………………………………………………

*cough*

The point of the most recent digression is: Aster.

I’ve written…six female protagonists, at least bits of them, depending on how far into their stories I currently am. (Seven if you count a spin-off series that goes in a different timeline where the MC is essentially an entirely different person. Please don’t ask.) I can’t say this series was my best WRITING (I can’t tell you how much I wish it was), meaning in the technical aspect or whatever. But I can without a doubt, one-hundred-freaking-percent say…Aster is, and will always be, my favorite main character that I’ve ever written/will ever write. And honestly? That’s WAY more important to me.

There’s the growth, for one thing. But for another? She SCARES me. I look at some parts of the books, and I get freaked out. And this isn’t a ‘she could kick my a**’ freaked out, it’s a ‘……how did she come out of my head?’ freaked out.

She’s damaged (we all are, and she has good reason just like any person). She has her flaws (the lack of knowledge about normal human-type things could definitely be considered one, but by god…it was fun at some points). Her moral compass is occasionally………..askew (then again, moral compasses being askew is all a matter of personal opinion). But there are so many things I love about her.

The ability to overcome anything put in her way (maybe not in the most…fantastic way, but overcoming is overcoming). The drive and determination to fight for what she believes in. Her willingness to accept the bad but see the good (again, how did she come from my head?). She’s fiercely loyal (as long as it’s deserved). There is a whole list of things I COULD say, but CAN’T say without giving too much away. Still, there’s one more I can put on the list, and it’s up at the tippity-top.

The most amazing thing about her? She CONSTANTLY surprised me, even AFTER I’d written her. Every time I thought I knew her, I would find something and realize…I’d been wrong. And why this series will always be my favorite? Because I was constantly surprised over one thing or another, even after the fact, and I wrote it. O.o

I’ve gotten a lot of crap from people who’ve already read the first book. No one can understand my issue with it (I’m still wondering how no one understands my issue with it where the writing is concerned, but that’s not what I’m currently talking about here). All I can say to that is…

Wait and see. 🙂

Things are always better after the foundation is built, but that’s just my opinion…

By the way, I’ve heard/seen something twice that has given me the most stupendous feeling.

Our Aster. People have referred to her as our Aster.

That is….amazing. Because having anyone love her that much – people feeling connected to her? What else could I ask for?

Cover Reveal for Retail Memories: When Customers Attack by Papi Z!

papizcover

This awesome cover is brought to you by the very talented Danielle Taylor!

The publishing debut by Papi Z from The Literary Syndicate! Retail Memories: When Customers Attack is a highly fictionalized memoir of Papi Z’s retail years. Filled with humor, horror, and gift wrap murder, this is a must have book for your holiday!

It will be available for Amazon Kindle for $.99. The perfect stocking stuffer gift idea for that hard to buy for retail working family member! Anticipated sale date the week of 12-23-13.

Book Blurb:

Basking in the glow of memories both good and bad, Papi Z takes you on a highly fictionalized whirlwind tour of retail life from the perspective of store management. Hostile customers, vermin, and misadventures await you as Papi Z escorts you through the dark times of Christmas and various other situations.

Author Bio:

Papi Z was born many moons ago on a planet far, far away. Sent to Earth at an early age to assist humanity in retail related manners, he thankfully has left the retail life and founded The Literary Syndicate. He currently lives on Earth with a wife and daughter.

How to reach Papi Z:

Facebook
Twitter
The Literary Syndicate

I think I jinxed myself…

And I’ll say that’s what I get for making a statement about how I was managing to do something successfully. I should’ve known that no good would come of it.

Granted, this is a difficult time of the year to attempt a drastic schedule adjustment, especially with the intention of making it permanent. I should add right here that I’m missing my entirely nocturnal schedule VEEEEERY badly, but this is how things have fallen.

I feel like I’m getting pulled in about fifty different directions and don’t have a clue which way is up. Sometimes I can’t do much more than allow myself to get tugged along whichever way is necessary, then get back to doing other things when I have the time. Speaking of time…….

Does anyone know where to find some?

There aren’t enough hours in the day. There really aren’t.

I think I’m just realizing that I have to do a slight adjustment to the adjustment. I said in the last post that the time-splitting wasn’t even. I think I’m gonna have to split it a bit more evenly. If I don’t, this isn’t going to work. What good is doing the other half of things if I’m not coherent enough to do them? I dunno.

I’m gonna have to do that, and will also have to get over this ridiculous problem I have with interacting via Twitter. I don’t know what it is, but every time I interact with people on there…freaks me out. (I say that, but what I mean is that it freaks me out worse than interacting with people in most other ways – apart from in person, which is HORRIBLE – which truly isn’t saying much, given that I get lost when someone says ‘hello’.)

Damn my anxiety for being so bad. I’ve been getting really frustrated with it lately (my anxiety), but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, a few random things…

I’ve been a bit O.o (yes, that’s a way to describe it) over the positive feedback I’ve received on Reave. So that’s cool. I need to thank everybody who’s put up a review for it or in other ways said anything about it where it’s gotten back to me, or told people about it, or just even read it. So…….thank you.

Also, I’m planning on doing a GoodReads giveaway, probably next month or so. I’m a GoodReads moron, so it might take me a bit of time to figure it out (or to figure out the site in general), but I’ll get there. I think. Maybe. Possibly. But I will definitely post on here whenever I set that up.

That’s basically it, I think!

Hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

Time-splitting and other things…

It’s been several days since I blogged last, mostly because I haven’t felt like I had anything worth saying. I know I can’t be the only person out there who feels that way… (What am I doing on here again?)

I’ve been drawing a blank on ideas to write about, but I reckon I’ll settle for the most relevant topic(s) for me at the moment.

I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was trying out this thing called ‘time-splitting.’ I’m pleased to report….

It’s working.

I’d been trying to figure out how to balance my time for so long. It’s an impossible thing for me to do – or it WAS an impossible thing to do – while actively working on a book. I’m not sure if that was due to the way I went about it, in trying to split all the things I wanted to do into separate days (which never worked because I would always end up either writing or editing without stopping for anything but the necessities in life, like sleeping), or maybe because regardless of telling myself I HAD to do whatever things…I didn’t actually HAVE to.

Releasing Reave has done good things for me, where that’s concerned. I’ve got a ‘baby’ out in the world and feel I need to take care of it like I would if it was still only mine (only in a different way). I might not be taking care of it the way I necessarily SHOULD, but this is a big learning process for me and I’m trying to figure out what to do as I go. It doesn’t help that my anxiety leaves me absolutely scared out of my wits to be promoting as shamelessly as I should. That also might be due in part to a lack of confidence…

But time-splitting has thus far been what I would consider a success. I’ve been doing a massive edit on book 2 of the series (which is necessary because I haven’t touched 2, 3, or 4 since the beginning of this year), and I’ve been REALLY GOOD (for me) at responding to things. Apart from yesterday, which I spent thinking about stuff. We all need those days.

I’m not going to say I’m evenly distributing time (like I SHOULD be doing), but I’m at least figuring out ways to function somewhat normally. Balance. I’m finding some sort of balance for the first time in…….three years. Well, maybe for the first time ever. Maybe better time-allocation will fall into place when I get more accustomed to this half-and-half thing (half-and-half with working on different things, and also spending time awake on the opposite side of daylight than what I’m used to).

Yes, obviously my sleep schedule is weird for me right now (and yes, I know I’m always going on about my sleep schedule). I’m used to sleeping from around noon until whenever, so I usually see the sun before bed. Now I see it when I’m waking up and that’s thrown me a bit. I don’t adapt well to change. Usually not at all, actually, so…this is good.

Like with doubleyewteeeff to do now that I have a book released…I’ll figure this other stuff out along the way as well.

I’ll tell ya though…Christmas stuff is not helping me regulate my schedule. It’s all random stuff at random times. My Grinchyness is kind of overridden by the fact that I’m weird and could wrap presents … pretty much all the time.

Still, I feel in a lot of ways like I’m playing a waiting game right now. Waiting for my world to straighten itself out, and waiting to see what happens in the meantime.

I’m still working on some things mentioned in previous entries that could pertain to the last few sentences. The world-straightening, for one. Trying to readjust, trying to figure out what’s going on, what to do. Trying not to freak out so badly at the prospect of interaction (I’m not doing so well with that one). Trying to be more positive and realize that things…maybe aren’t quite as bad as they are in my head (it’s not very pleasant in there, just saying…). Trying to learn how to take good things as they come rather than digging around for bad that maybe isn’t there. I’m not successful with that all the time, but…I’m working on it. Even a small bit of success with that is a step in the right direction for me. I’m kind of taking things one day at a time right now.

I hope everyone is doing well out there, that life is cutting everyone a break and that, if it’s not currently break-cutting, it will start to do so soon.

I had to stop myself from continuing on with that. You’ll have to forgive me – all this ‘working on stuff’ has been turning me into a bigger pile of mush than I’m used to.

😛

The first week of being published.

The clock has now ticked over into Thursday, which means – with Wednesday being at an end – Reave has been live for a full week.

It’s been a very…strange week for me. Most of the time I’m somehow able to convince myself that the book hasn’t released and is still safely in the only places I had it before (Herald, HD, printed out several times for edits, the proof, and…my brain). It’s been better for me that way, trying not to stress about how much people will hate it (if ONLY the second book could be released before the first…), or even just the fact that people CAN read it now.

I never talked about my book(s) on here until just before I released Reave, past saying I’d written them or whatever was going on with them. I’ve always been weirdly protective over them, but I suppose that’s understandable and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I wouldn’t even let my sister read it before it came out, if that says anything. I just didn’t want to let this one (or any of the others) out of my sight. There’s yet another way it can be comparative to having children (I’m assuming), but…….I’m PRETTY sure I’d be less protective of any children I ever had. I’d let my sister take one of those out of my sight for a while, if I had one.

It’s silly, I know. It’s something I struggled with a lot (am still struggling with), but I’m trying to get over it. My sister is actually the one that found the typo I was writing to in Dear Typo, by the way. I should’ve let her read it beforehand. Now I know. I will just have to get over certain things.

I spent the first few days checking my rankings on Amazon randomly. I probably wouldn’t have done much of it if I hadn’t been so shocked at getting on a couple lists for a little while. That was….pretty freaking awesome. I’d never expected to see anything like that, and I DID get to see it, so that was a spectacular moment for me. I didn’t mind dropping off those lists as much as I likely should have (though, yes, I did mind because…I’m human), maybe partially due to the not-expecting-at-all, and maybe partially due to expectations of the dropping (realistic).

There have been a few awesome moments.

Reading the first few reviews on it blew my mind.

The mom of one of my best friends was reading it, asked said friend when the next would be released, was given the ideal (but not feasible) time frame. The response she had (which was told to me) was something about not being able to wait that long. I believe there was an exclamation mark involved, but I have a horrible memory and could easily be wrong.

Mind was blown over that.

I’ve seen three pictures of people holding the book as of now, and that’s probably been the most fantastic thing about it. All for different (but similar, but different) reasons. (Probably up there is an unneeded word.) Seeing those pictures made me think of that moment of holding the proof in my hand, of it not necessarily being the moment I’d anticipated for the past three years (maybe because I was sick, maybe because of circumstances at the time, and maybe because I’d hyped it up so much in my head). Seeing pictures of people holding my book has been a better feeling than me holding it for the first time. Baffling, just like it was when I held it, only in a different enough way that I’m able to actually enjoy the feeling of it rather than sitting there staring at it like it’s some alien life form.

Mind blown over that.

I’ve almost had an anxiety attack every time someone has said something about reading it. I need to find some sort of faith in myself, but…haven’t yet (I’ll say again, GAH! over not being able to release the second book first). It’s the damn characters. I have faith in them. I just….COME ALONG with them. Bad writing, lack of technicality and all.

I thought I would be obsessive over rankings (as obsessive is a fitting word for my personality in general – if you add ‘mild’ before it and turn obsessive into the first part of an acronym that’s followed by CD, we’ll be set), but I haven’t been. I think it’s understanding that this is going to be an uphill battle regardless of anything, which I knew from the get-go. I’ve felt a little lost at multiple points, but it is what it is.

I’m just thinking about how the people who ordered the physical copies of it are getting them in the mail now, and that’s…yeah.

Anyway, I expected myself to be feeling a lot more crazy than I have. Maybe it’s losing a bit of the attachment I had to it from keeping it so much to myself for such a long time. It’s…out of my hands now. People will either like it or they won’t, which I accepted several years ago with the books that will never see the light of day. I’d imagine some people won’t be able to make it past the prologue. Some people won’t ‘get it.’ Some people will want to punch me in the face for it (I’ve already got that one – that someone wanted to punch me). Some people will say, “I can’t wait that long for the next one!”

The latter of those is the only one that confuses me, and I’ve already heard it several times. It’s so weird.

It’s also so weird realizing that everyone has always been right about me. I DO expect the worst. Understand that good can happen, but expect the worst because it seems the most likely thing to occur in any scenario. In trying to change my outlook on things, I can see that’s not a healthy thing to do either because…I don’t believe it’s as realistic as I’ve always thought it was. So in telling myself that one of every ten people might PASSABLY enjoy the book…I’m doing myself – and my work – an injustice. And that’s a shame.

Maybe I’ll figure all that out along the way as well. I had to let go of it in order to feel like I wasn’t living half the life I wanted to be living (writing them and keeping them all to myself). Maybe the ‘faith’ thing will happen eventually. I just don’t think it’s fair to keep telling myself that everyone is ‘too close.’ Someone being close doesn’t mean they’re lying to spare your feelings. Someone complimenting you doesn’t mean they’re doing it with ulterior motives or being dishonest. It also does’t mean that they’re crazy (which is the first thing my mind goes to…sorry to anyone who ever says anything nice to me – I’ve probably thought you were crazy at some point or another. >.>).

Like everything with this, it’s just…a journey.

Too bad you can’t ever prepare for a journey like this as much as you think you can.

Does someone have any pants I can borrow? I think I forgot my own.