Reading Gives You Wings

bird book cartoon

I’m spreading my wings!

 

This weekend I will be participating in a local authors fair at Cascades library in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

There will be bunches of SUPER cool author peeps.

 

Super cool author peep, Kathryn Erskine.

 

And books and book stuff.

 

YA book swag

 

And coffee, I’m sure. Although, I should probably switch to decaf.

 

drawing on Starbucks cup

Me + Caffeine (and/or nerves) = Doodles

 

I’m grateful, excited, nervous, but also very CURIOUS. 🙂

 

Are you spreading your wings? How do you calm your nerves?

Happy Wednesday!

 

The Indefinite Future of Someday

 

 

At the start of last year, blogging and social media were not on my to-do list, let alone part of any resolution, but they were something I imagined I would do someday.

You know, someday, the indefinite future.

As in someday I will travel to Italy and Greece, or someday I will use that trapeze school gift card (yes, I really have one of these).

Or maybe someday is dusting that stupid cobweb at the top of the family room ceiling fan–you know what I’m talking about, the one that can’t be reached without stopping to get a step stool or a broom.

So time goes by and that cobweb starts to dangle, it may even mock you a little by blowing in the breeze of the fan as you sit on the couch, but still you ignore it, push it off until the indefinite future, and then one day it’s gone.

Must’ve fallen off you think, some point between Masterpiece Theatre and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills . . .

But what if  left unchecked, that cobweb bans together with others of its kind, and is lurking close by . . . a giant, zombified dust bunny of regret?

*cue Psycho music*

Indefinite inaction = Dustus Bunnicus

Then again it’s only dangerous if that action was something important.

Like say fulfilling a long-standing dream.

So when the idea of building an author platform presented itself last year, I thought, But I’m not ready . . . someday my blog will come.

But I was curious, so I Googled and researched and read Kristen Lamb’s books We Are Not Alone-The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer, and the next thing I know . . .

Domain.  Blog.  Twitter.  Facebook.  I was out there.

And yes, it was way out of my comfort zone and not what I had planned, but then again:

 

“Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation?”

–Jane Austen

 

Now okay I cringe a little at the words “foolish preparation,” because let’s face it, I am really more of a planning kind of gal. I like neat stacks and files and research.  I don’t just hop on Amazon and buy something without researching it first (well, mostly–beware of that tricky Amazon 1-click setting.)

But even neatness and research can backfire and turn into Preparatory Procrastination.

Who knows what evil lurks behind clean desks and brand new notebooks?

 

Anyway, procrastination aside (please!) being out there was kind of the point, unless I was writing all those stories for the dust bunnies.

 

 

Maybe blogging is only a part of the dream, but the funny thing is now that I’ve gone and done it, well it makes the rest seem like it’s right there within reach.

Like a sparkling, clean ceiling fan.

I just need to go and get that step stool.

 

What someday is dangling over your head?

 

 

Gettin’ Lucky

Last week I got a Tweet telling me I won another book, which brought my book winning total in the last couple of months to seven.

My husband told me it was time for me to play the lottery, because apparently I was experiencing a lucky streak.

“Luck affects everything; let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” -Ovid

So, luck is success born out of chance, not just something indigenous to the Irish.

IRELAND, LAND OF THE LUCKY.

Although my father in law once handed me cash just because I was standing next to him in a casino when he won. He said his good fortune was due to my presence ie,“luck of the Irish.”

Still I may need to rethink the “I’m Irish” heading on my next batch of queries.

But luck is more than just a matter of chance. In fact I think the real clue to luck in Ovid’s quote is: Let your hook always be cast.

Because luck usually requires some effort.

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
Thomas Jefferson

Seven books didn’t just fall out of the ether. There was a little work–I entered contests.

Although I did get one of the books from the very generous author Barry Lyga, simply because I’m a blogger.

Or Irish (I’m kidding, Barry Lyga is not profiling Irish writers).

No, the real reason Barry sent me a book was because I saw one of his Tweets that read something along the lines of Free books to bloggers!

So while “art depends on luck and talent,” as Francis Ford Coppola once said. It also requires effort like Thomas Jefferson so wisely put.

Like say spending some time in a casino, sidling up next to the Black Jack table wearing my VIP badge, Very Irish Person.

Or, entering that Breaking Dawn premiere contest.

Maybe.  But I do know that I can’t win if I don’t try.

I’ve got to put in some effort if I want to see Taylor Lautner -–uh, I mean the older actor who plays Bella’s father.

A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck. –James A. Garfield

Do you think some people are just lucky in life?

Drop me a comment below and you could win a SIGNED copy of Barry Lyga’s GOTH GIRL RISING (result determined by random, or is it?)

***Congrats to Karen McFarland who won last week’s giveaway of WHAT WOULD MY CELLPHONE DO?***

Warm Fuzzies Blogfest

This week has been a week of warm fuzzies (plus a giveaway–see details at the end of this post).  Special thanks to my fellow writers in Rachael Harrie’s platform building campaign and in Kristen Lamb’s WANA class. From your supportive comments and tweets to blog awards I feel like I have my very own virtual, but cozy Linus blanket.

Thank you!

On that note, wonderful and brilliant YA author Juliana L. Brandt is hosting the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest and this week she posed this question:

” How do you broach the subject of being a writer to other people who aren’t authors?”

It’s not always easy, like Juliana writes in her post.  Here’s a post I wrote a couple of months ago on the subject:

SO HOW’S THAT NOVEL COMING?

The writing process is slow. Couple it with the publishing process and the fact that writing is mostly a solitary living-in-a-shell like activity, and you are looking at a lifestyle that is turtle club worthy.

At least it comes with a great motto:

Slow and steady wins the race.

This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially when you emerge from your shell for food, showers, more work (you mean there’s other stuff to do?) and seeing your family and friends only to hear questions like:

You still working on that novel?

Do you have an end yet? Because I have a really good idea…

When am I going to see it in Barnes and Noble?

What’s for dinner? (Oh wait, you may or may not get that one, depends on whether or not your kids are old enough to call for pizza.)

When I hear these questions, my mind scrambles for some sort of summary update, sifting through all the work looking for something that is akin to handing them a hardcover copy of my book.

Um, yeah.

You write. You read. You edit. You write some more. You put the story away for a while and start work on another. Then you pick it back up and read. Then you edit, write some more. Then get some people to read and comment and then edit some more. Then write a query letter and edit that, and get some people to read that. Write. Edit. Then send it out to agents and/or some small publishers (because the big ones will not look at it without the agent). Wait and wait. Work on the next story . . .

I am going to stop here because if you are a writer you know all this, and if you’re not, then you are probably wondering why anyone would actually comply with such a process.

It sounds crazy, right?

It’s a slow process. Turtle-y slow.

So I remind myself to take a chill pill when I get the questions, because yes I’m still working on that novel (actually two, both with endings, but you never know I might use your good idea someday).

(Oh and the dinner question? Only requires microwave skills, because the pizza is in the freezer.)

And as for Barnes and Noble (or Amazon)?

I don’t know–YET (this is the key word here, print it, cut it out and attach it to something).

Because if you love it, you do it and when the questions come, you can think about Stewie.

Yes, I give you Stewie. Because sometimes I just need to relax about the whole process and squeak out a laugh instead of taking myself too seriously. Besides, as Stewie says, we all deserve some time off (even if we sometimes let our kids eat pizza from the freezer).

Speaking of pizza, if you’re headed to the freezer can you get me some? It’s the gluten-free one, with the tapioca cheese . . .

 

Have a great weekend.