Livin’ for the deadline

Yep, it’s another early morning for me, and now that I’ve been social on most of the medias, it’s time to get cracking on Book 2’s revisions. I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going with them, but it’s a matter of actually sitting down and getting from A to B. Then, once I’ve gotten the manuscript where it needs to be, it’s edit, edit, edit before I send it off for submission. RhetAskew Publishing has given me an early November deadline for submission, so I have some time but not, like, oodles. There’s a lot of life going on in those months…Abnormal‘s release, SCA events about every other weekend or more, book signing, work, more work, new certification for work…Yeah. All that and a bag of chips. Or something. I have no one to blame but myself, really….I asked my Editor-in-Chief when she’d like the manuscript, and she gave me a time frame.

The other day I had a mini major meltdown about Abnormal‘s release. That was fun (not). You see, as I’m revving up and getting ready for the release, I’m also taking a marketing workshop led by my Editor-in-Chief at RhetAskew. This workshop is pretty intense, and it’s left me feeling overwhelmed. There are things I’ve been doing that I guess are no-nos when it comes to marketing, and there are other things I haven’t done yet that are very, very important. I know that since Abnormal is the first in a series I have time to build my audience, but I was feeling an immense sense of urgency and anxiety that I’d never get all the things done before the release. Some part of my bipolar brain decided that I had to do every single workshop assignment ASAP to be ready for release date, and when I realized I was in overload I lost it. I’m talking red-faced, puffy-eyed, snot-nosed ugly crying. I was a hot mess.

I’m better about it now. I think I just needed to get it out of my system. Reached my boiling point, spilled over, and now I’m all good. Mostly…I still feel some anxiety, but nothing like the other day.

Well, guess it’s time to put the blog down and pick up my mind mapping. Gotta stay cool, calm, and collected as the countdown to Abnormal ticks down….9 days now. Single digits.

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Battle royale

It’s been a while since I’ve had a legitimate bipolar breakdown, so I guess yesterday’s little panic attack was overdue. Still, it would be nice not to have to go through that at all.

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Yeah….

So the marketing process for Abnormal combined with the marketing workshop that my publisher is running on Facebook combined with general anxiety about the projected success or failure of said book all are working together to create that perfect environment for a bipolar freak-out. Last night was the first of what I hope is a minimal number of said freak-outs.

It all started with the sudden realization that the workshop assignments were leading up to us authors identifying and contacting our top genre influencers about our works.

Wait…I have to find out who the top sci-fi/dystopian/LGBTQ bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, journalists, etc, are, then I have to write out emails asking them to read and review my book or do an interview with me, then I have to send out those same emails? Like, actually send them? To people who have thousands and thousands of followers, who probably already lead busy lives and already get gobs of junk emails with the same type of requests? But–but–but…what if I’m bothering them?

Ah, yeah, there’s that irrationality. There’s the anxiety rearing its ugly head.

Fuck you, anxiety. You ruined my evening yesterday.

Fighting with this type of anxiety is a tough one. I can always go to friends or family or to my husband or my publishers with my unfounded concerns, but I can’t always take their logical, rational advice and apply it to the very much illogical and irrational fear I’m experiencing. The irrational fear eats logic for breakfast, chews it up, and spits it out in a sloppy wet wad on the carpet. I always end up stepping square in that wad. I hate stepping on anything wet, literally or metaphorically.

Why is it so horrifying to have to send out some nice, polite emails requesting consideration for myself and my book? I don’t know. Again, it’s an irrational fear. And no, it’s not the fear of them ignoring my emails or sending rejections–it’s the fear of being a bother. A nuisance. An annoyance.

It was difficult to send email requests to some of my favorite authors asking if they’d be interested in having an Advanced Reader Copy of Abnormal to peruse and maybe write a blurb on. I was terrified of annoying them. Of being viewed as spam–even if it was potentially some random assistant who was handling that day’s particular emails. That is what had me paralyzed yesterday. It’s still got me shaken up a bit, but so far this morning no fountains of tears. So that’s progress, right?

Another stressor to add onto these imaginary stressors is the feeling that I have to get all my marketing done before the September 1 release date–which is now ten days away. Ten. Short. Days. My publisher assures me that’s not the case, that I have the entirety of the series to build upon and market to my fanbase, but the timing of the marketing workshop is not helping. Don’t get me wrong–I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have such a workshop. It’s just giving me a minor heart attack thinking about all the assignments that are being given with “just ten days” in which to complete the assignments.

Ten days…I’m almost in the single digits.

I had my freak-out. I talked with close friends, with my publisher, with my husband. I whined and moaned and misunderstood the assignments and cried and sobbed and overreacted. I did all the things except stay calm and look at it from a logical standpoint. Logically, the bloggers and vloggers and podcasters and journalists are there to build on their own fanbase, and they (theoretically) welcome the opportunity to read and review something that their fanbase might enjoy. Illogically, they’re going to view me as an overeager spammer nobody who needs to leave them alone.

I’m going to get past this. I’m going to finish this post, search for my genre’s “influencers,” and get started on a template to share in the workshop to eventually turn into emails to said influencers.

It may not be within the next ten days. But I have a whole series to get this done in.

Still, better now than never.

Off I go.

Kicking and screaming, but off I go.

Advanced notice

It’s getting closer and closer to Release Day, and in the hopes of getting some blurbs for the cover of Abnormal I’ve started sending out emails to other authors to see if they’d be interested in and Advanced Reader Copy to read and comment on. It’ll be interesting to see who bites and reads it.

I’m also doing an advanced read on another Askew author’s book (in exchange for her AR of mine), so of course I’m piling more work on top of the work I already have to do. Glutton for punishment, anyone? ‘Cause that’s me.

I had my interview for the promotion yesterday, but since there’s at least one other applicant that I know of (who is as qualified as I am, if not more so), it’s going to be the waiting game for a while. The owner of the practice has to review our resumes and questionnaires with my supervisor before making a determination. Good thing I clip my nails, because otherwise I’d be biting them in anticipation. As it is, my lip is chewed to pieces almost. Lol

SCA life is quiet for a couple of weeks, which means I get to game with friends this Saturday (better brush up on the system, because I’ve played all of one game way back in the fall) and the following Saturday is my birthday. The big 3-9, the beginning of the last year in my thirties. I’m not as freaked out about forty as I was about thirty, which seems weird, but I guess you get to a point in your life where you’re like “Whatever.” Some of my friends are taking me out for a dinner/cider tasting, which sounds like a lot of fun.

Other than that, my time is kinda my own for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I have the AR to do. Yeah, I have embroidery/sewing to work on. Yeah, I have work-work to do. Yeah, I have to finish remaking my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con. Yeah, I have marketing footwork to do. Still, it’s nice to not be running around crazy trying to catch up for a little bit.

(And yeah, all that and then some is me “relaxing” for a couple of weeks. 😉 )

Arts and Sciences revisited

So… I haven’t really gone into extensive detail on my experience last week at our local Baronial Arts and Sciences competition. I won’t. It’s done, and I’m done. Not with Arts and Sciences in general, but with the subject of last week. That’s done. This week, however, went well, and even though I didn’t win anything personally (the household I entered with won for Household Champion) I learned a lot from the experience.

I got stern but helpful critique, and I had a much better time than last week. I think I might have made one judge feel bad about herself when I told her I have only been embroidering since December. I got the Look of Death from her, as if she was thinking “I spent X amount of time learning this shit and this bitch has been doing it for like 8 months and she’s sitting here all smug with her A&S entry….” Oops. Good thing I didn’t mention anything about being self taught from Pinterest tutorials.

My research paper got picked the fuck apart… which I have to admit, I deserved. I kinda crammed for that one for the most part. I mean, I did some of the reading ahead of time… and most of it as I was writing the paper. Oops again. But hey, now I know how to improve on my cramming, and I will have a much improved paper for Kingdom.

I’ll also have a better embroidery project. I have to get some more materials for it (and find the original piece I started), but it’s going to be more refined and more period in style than my little cup cover sampler. I might have another piece to judge if I can come up with documentation for both the embroidery and the item that will be embroidered. I think I can do that, but I’ll have to check.

Arts and Sciences will continue to be in my future in the SCA. I won’t let one bad experience ruin the arts for me.

Conceptualism

Today I “met” with the book cover designer officially for the first time and got to give him my thoughts on the cover of Abnormal. Every time something new happens in the process it revs up my excitement. So close, yet so far. I want to tell you all the release date, but I still have to keep mum. But soon. Soon.

I am a few chapters in on revisions on Book 2, but I stopped for the A&S crunch and can’t remember what I was going to say next. Lol

Book 3 is tickling the back of my mind, but I have to tell it to wait its turn. If I dive into that now, I’ll squirrel and never make any progress.

Next on my list of things to do is get home from rapier fighting, shower, and eat. Then I need to use the feedback I got from my A&S judges to improve my research paper a bit. I won’t discuss the actual competition here. I won with both my entries, but my overall experience with the event was… let’s just say… disappointing. We’ll go with that. Hopefully next week in our neighboring Barony it will be better.

An art and a science

Well, today’s the day! My first Arts and Sciences competition for the SCA. Despite all the nerves and anxiety about finishing my papers, they were both finished and printed last night. (They actually were “finished” earlier, but I forgot to put “Novice” on them so I had to reprint. Lol)

I’m feeling good about the paper on tattoos in history, the embroidery documentation not so much. I got a lot of very good but very vague advice on what was expected of me as far as documentation goes, but I followed the who/what/when/where/how/etc that I’m supposed to include, so we’ll see how I do.

Dressed in my Italian Renaissance today, because why not be fancy? (Also, hubby wanted to wear our Italian Ren outfits.) I don’t wear it often because my persona is Viking, but I gotta say, it makes my bewbs look good. Lol

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I also did up my eyes real purdy for today. They’re going to be burning like hell by the end of the day between the dry eye, makeup, and contacts, but fuck it. I wanted to look good.

I’m going to try to get some embroidery done while I sit with my projects and talk to judges and onlookers, but my stupid self lost track of where my wash-away stabilizer is at the moment, so I have to try to get some from someone else, because I’ll be at the competition all day pretty much. No time to run to JoAnn’s for more.

Tomorrow I discuss book cover concepts with Rhetoric Askew’s cover designer. 🙂 Super excited to get that process going. Things are coming together!

Book 2 is moving along as well. Not at my ideal word count yet, but I’m only three and a half chapters in as far as revisions go. Ideas for Book 3 are swirling around in the background, but I need to slow my roll and do things right. Evernote the important parts, and get Book 2 polished for submission first. Well, polished and edited for Betas. Then revised and edited and polished for submission.

Soon we leave for A&S. Wish me luck!

The battle (moor) is over

We have left Battlemoor behind, and soon Colorado will be in the rear view mirror and we’ll be staying the night in Albuquerque before we go home.

I had a great time, but I miss my Rory-kins and my River monster. It’ll be good to be home and have them happy to see me. It’ll also be nice to sleep in my own bed … and write on my couch.

I managed to get a decent amount of writing done while on vacation, but I’ve got a lot left to do. I’ve gotten my MC into a sticky situation, and I’ve got to get her out of it… but I’ve got half a book to go for that.

I met many new people and made a few new friends this past weekend. Got some good rapier fighting in, and (in a rarity only found in out-of-kingdom events) managed to get to fight only people I’ve never fought before. Won a few fights, lost a few, but thanks to my rapier teacher I’m trying a new thing where I try to remember at least one thing I learned from each fight to help teach me new things and learn how to improve. I wasn’t able to get over my shyness to ask other fighters for pickup fights, but a couple of people asked me so I did get a few non-tournament fights in.

Tuesday I go back to work and fully back to mundane life. It’ll be a little bittersweet, because I’ll be back to normal but I’ll have to leave SCA life behind for a while. Not completely behind–I never get completely away from it because I’m always working on craft projects in my off time. I have to buckle down and get my A&S projects finished when I get home. I’m not going to try for Champion this go around. Novice for me this time, but maybe for the Kingdom A&S in the fall. We shall see.

Speaking of down time, I should get some writing in while I’m sitting here in the back seat.