In response to J. D. Huffman

J. D. Huffman wrote a thought-provoking piece on self-promotion here.
I’d like to add to it.

I too hate self-promotion. It’s a drag. Its time consuming. It’s terrifying! I’ve mentioned before that I have anxiety and depression. I don’t like speaking in public; mostly in situations where I’ve got to draw attention to myself and address a large group of people. But it’s something I gotta do.

My childhood was spent moving every year. I had to learn to rely on myself for entertainment. I learned to dig deep into my own mind and sometimes that was a curse; I was aware of my flaws and I didn’t know how to communicate with other people. But also, I knew myself. I was confident in being myself and didn’t really care about conforming. I didn’t know how to conform. In middle school, I got picked on a lot for this. These days, I’m pretty sure they were just jealous that I didn’t care and I did what I wanted.

As Huffman said, I love writing. I love that I wrote books, but also, after writing my first book I was so scared to promote it. The social stigma against self publishing back in 2008, when PTH first came out, was very hard to push through. Whenever I mentioned I had a book, people would first light up like “Oh neat!” and then I say I’m self published… and the disgust on their faces just made me feel dirty. I didn’t try to go to a major publishing house. I didn’t query anyone. The general consensus back then was that people only self-published when they were bad writers and couldn’t get anyone “in charge” to buy their crap.

However. I have absolutely no regrets on taking my work this direction. I still stand by the fact that both the big and small publishers of the day would not have taken a chance on NFS. If I had the chance to go back and do it again, the only thing I’d do different is that I’d push harder to get my work out there. The early 2000s was the prime time to get popular, as someone on the front lines of self-publishing in the new millennium. I regret not knowing then what I know now. I can only go forward, though.

While it has been a hard battle to get any kind of respect, the ease of self publishing has at least made people more open to the idea. They’ve become more understanding of the amount of effort, time, attention to detail, and formatting it takes to create a book they devour in a few days. Making something worth reading goes way beyond just a keyboard smash and a quick spellcheck. These days, every time I mention that I’m published in public, I inevitably get someone who says “I’ve always wanted to write a book…” and we both know that the reason why they haven’t done it is because they KNOW its hard. Not just getting the file ready to put out into people’s hands, but the work before that. The work of getting past your inner editor, that awful voice that says “No one wants to read this, you’re kidding yourself.” That’s really the first step. Then there’s the “Halfway” point where you look at the last 30 pages you wrote and resist the urge to delete it all because, honestly it sucks. Anyone who has created a book and put it out there should be proud of themselves.

Anyone who has done it can tell you that the work doesn’t stop there. Even with a major publishing house, you still have to self-promote and build your Brand. You can’t just be a recluse and write books. Today, you still see J. K Rowling out there on twitter, talking to fans. You still see R. R. Martin doing interviews on the Ellen show or whatever. Yes. It sucks, but we live in a digital age where the inner lives of our idols are on display 24/7 and we’re just two clicks away from seeing them drunk and vomiting in a public bathroom. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. But it also means that anything out of sight is out of mind and easily forgotten.

You don’t hear much about that Eragon author anymore. What’s he done lately? Who knows. What about the person who wrote Divergent? Can’t even remember who wrote Hunger Games. I bet that you do remember what that one singer did recently that’s been all over the news; because it keeps getting brought to your attention.

That’s the reason for remaining active on social media and writing posts for your blog. You’ve got to bring attention to yourself, even though it’s uncomfortable.

Take heart, though. If you’ve written a book, or you’re posting stuff on Instagram, if you’re trying to become YouTube famous, you’re out there creating something, and people who like what you make will eventually show up as long as you keep making things and making yourself visible. Be proud of yourself for doing it. You’re not an impostor. You’re not faking anything. You’re not stealing from anyone. There are at least 10 people you personally know who are gonna say “I always wanted to…” but never done anything about it because they’re scared of the work it’s going to take.

Anyone who doesn’t like what you’re doing can sod off.

Grief

I put my cat to sleep. She was 11. This was the Monday after Thanks Giving, after spending all of TG with her sick and knowing this was her last week.

It was suggested I write about my grief. How difficult it has been for me to get used to being without her and how I feel about making that decision to end her life. I think that’s a bit gross, though. I think its…My pain just isn’t something I want to share with everyone in the world.

I don’t like to share my emotions when they’re so messy. I don’t have the right words to convey what I mean, or how I’m thinking, or the processes behind it. For the most part, I’m just really depressed; fending off thoughts of jumping off bridges or digging my cat up just to touch her face again.

I get she was just a cat, but I still can’t stop feeling this way. She was with me 11 years. She was obnoxious and horrible to everyone else and I knew that it wasn’t possible to rehome her. I was the one she loved, so I couldn’t just die and leave her. I was going through some terrible times in the last few years of her life; unemployment, extreme depression, and no insurance. She helped me keep going.

The one who suggested I share this stuff said it would be real. I’m wondering: Real… or just raw.

I feel like sharing pain in this way is like selling snacks at a public execution. People are drawn to the macabre. I know they’re not here to laugh at me, but they’re here for the spectacle, watching someone already unstable implode. My pain isn’t for other people’s entertainment. All of this might wander it’s way into one of my books. Possibly Shaxia, but as it is, I just can’t focus on much right now. However, actually talking about my depression and such is just… difficult. I didn’t have a terrible childhood or life or anything and part of me thinks I’ve no right to feel as terrible as I do on a daily basis. This is how I am, though, and it really isn’t anyone else’s problem, or business. I try to be positive. I force myself to be positive and find something nice to say to people daily. I push aside the bad thoughts because hating myself doesn’t accomplish anything. I’m not punishing anyone. I’m just rolling around in my own filth.

Still.

I miss my kitty.

I got a kitten about a week ago. She’s so adorable and she makes the pain slightly easier to deal with. I’ve got someone new that relies on me. I’m actually kind of excited to go home from work so I can see her.

My best friend is dying

I am about to lose my friend of 11 years.

She’s been a pain in the butt the whole time, hurt me physically on multiple occasions, disrupted my life and schedule, destroyed my property, but she’s also been there for me emotionally. Loving cats is a weird thing. 

When I determined she was sick and needed to go to the vet, she spent the night under the blankets with me. She never does that. She usually sleeps on top of the blankets next to my hip. This time, she was stretched against my side between my arm and my torso. I didn’t sleep much that night. I kept waking up because I was worried about her. Worried I’d miss her last breath. I want to be there for her, so she knows I love her. After I took her to the vet, I spent the whole day crying my makeup off at work.

My cat is old. Nothing about this situation is surprising. I had some warning a few months before when she got a UTI and they checked her phosphorous levels etc and discovered they were elevated.

Now, she’s gone into full renal failure. However, it looks like she’s going to bounce back from this at least a bit. The thing is, renal failure can’t be cured, just managed and the doctor is talking months left with her. Saying that this is going to be a yo-yo of health where she gets better and then declines and gets better but not as good as before and declines. This is really just a controlled fall more than improvement. There’s nothing that is going to make her entirely healthy again.

And I feel bad about that but not for the reasons everyone seems to think.

I feel bad about keeping her around. She’s not going to fully recover, so letting her limp along for months seems cruel.

I also feel bad that I want her to go so that I can get to mourning instead of crying every other day over it.

Because I don’t want her to go. I don’t want to lose her.

But I don’t want her to suffer either.

Worse yet, I can’t articulate this to my family. People keep interpreting my feelings as “I don’t wanna put her down” but it is actually the opposite… ish. I want to spare myself the pain of watching her get better-ish, then deteriorate again. I’m stuck between being selfish and selfless. Where’s the middle ground on this?

I’m going to have to choose when to put her down. Her life is in my hands. I’m actually okay with that part. It’s the part about having to wait, to choose WHEN this will happen. Her lifespan is now my decision. 

I’d like her to pass on her own, but also the waiting for that to happen is just… agony. And not going to happen, according to the doctor. Kidney failure is long and painful and it isn’t pleasant to die from naturally. 

If my kitty could just tell me when she’s ready to go, I’d listen to her. But her brain is the size of a walnut and her capacity to communicate with me consists of walking on my tits in the middle of the night to let me know she’s “low” on kibble. Or sometimes she does it just because SHE’S awake and thus I should be too. “Oh, and refill my water dish while you’re at it.”

 

She actually hates when I take pictures of her. I took a whole bunch anyway. I only have 1 picture of my previous cat before she went missing, so I made up for that by over-photographing this beast. 90% of the pictures are of her in the same position, from the same angle. Mostly because I was usually stuck under her while she took over my lap. 

So there’s that. I have loads of pictures of her at least. 

Unfortunately, it looks like this Thanksgiving will be her last weekend. We’ll see…

what kinda crap….

I’m working on short story collections for NFS. I need covers tho. I’ve put together a little over 20k words for an NFS 3.5 story. Grabbed the first scene from Shaxia, since I wrote a different scene to start that off. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on getting the print version of Touched by Death done. I’m kinda late on that due to a combination of overtime at work and lazitis. But the files are in review and should pass shortly. I’ve got another author lined up to publish. But that won’t be until the new year at the earliest. I’ve started ads for books on kindle, hopefully that will get some bites. 

My kitty hasn’t been doing great lately. I wish i could tell if she’s just tired and old or not feeling good or outright dying. I hope that I can be there when she passes. :-/

I redecorated my house slightly to improve feng sui and attract wealth. It seems to be working slightly. I had a friend over this weekend who sells things on the internet and she sold like 5 things in the two days she was here, some of the items having been on her shop for 2 years. My house is still dirty though and needs swept/mopped/dusted. Maybe that will happen before December. I’ve got a couple days off for TG. 

As for TG, and the accompanying Black Friday, I keep seeing really good deals on stuff, but like, they’re things _I_ would want for myself. So I can’t buy them. I’m not like my dad, buying everything I want before Xmas so that no one has anything to give me for Xmas. -eyeroll- … Thus far I want a Kitchen-aid mixer and a PS4 would be nice, but the mixer for certain I would use the heck out of. I haven’t made cookies lately just because my previous housemate took her mixer with her when she left (not on bad terms, her mom needs more constant care…) 

I picked up a friend at ConFuzion. He does 3D modeling and stuff. If I could hook him up with my other friend who is really great at making props and texturing things, I think with Clockwork Joker, I’d have the start of a gaming division for Moirae. Except we still need someone who can do the coding. I’ve got no idea and no time to learn that, so I’ll have to find someone.

I’ve been working on my leadership skills, but there don’t seem to be any easy resources that talk about how to be a good leader. How do I improve the whole telling people what to do and when to get it done aspect? I feel so awkward trying to tell people to do things. 

I’ve also got a line of products I’m getting Moirae’s JR artist working on. Cards for the Totality series. I think that’ll be fun. Gotta get the cover for book 2 of that series started too… Huffman already has the text written and I just need to read and do a quick edit on it. 

Ugh. I also need to work harder at Moirae’s website. But coming up with articles and content for it is difficult, since it has a higher level of difficulty than writing for my own blog where I can just word-vomit and talk about things that are going on in a more informal way. I’ll get onto our Editor Adele again later to see if she’s got those interview questions done. She’s been busy lately too. Tis the Season…

good NEWS everybody!

I’m trying something new. Maybe it will keep me on track for producing content on a more regular basis? At Imaginarium this year, I went to a couple panels talking about marketing strategies. Really marketing boils down to just being consistent with content. Ugh. I’m the queen of inconsistency.

Anyway, here’s my idea.

I’m going to start posting something on this blog twice a month. The 1st and the 15th. That should give me enough time to actually come up with a post and write it.

As it stands, here’s my announcements for today!

On my Patreon, I’m going to start posting the draft chapters of Shaxia (from chapter 1) in the $5 tier. If you want to beta read and give feedback, join us! My Patreon has a bunch of other cool things too; such as artwork from Clockwork Joker, and other writing-related things. If this experiment goes well, I’ll start posting Foreseen Champion on Patreon in the $5 tier as well once I get Shaxia finished.

Another promotion I’m starting on Patreon is join our $5 tier and you get to pick an item from our merchandise and we’ll ship it to you. So that’s TWO good reasons to join our Patreon! You get a gift of your choice for signing up and you get to read Shaxia draft and more!

Speaking of gifts, I’m going to be at CONFUZION this year in Muscle Shoals. Come find me and receive a special gift!

I’m going to start making my short stories available on Kindle soon. I was going to bundle what I’ve got available for .99c, which will include the shorts you can read on this blog for free, and the one story I posted on Patreon. A good reason to buy it is that they’ll be all in one place and they’ll be in order timeline-wise and you’ll get to read the one I locked away on Patreon (and I’ll do another round of editing on them all to make them nice and spiffy).

My next project will be the little book about all my aliens. I’m still not sure what I’m going to call it, but I do know I want to get it printed.

K. E. Ireland for President

I’m announcing my intent to run for President of the United States of Murika in 2020. I think I would be the best thing ever to happen to this country considering I don’t think I could do much worse.

  • I promise to bring fresh cat memes to the White House.
  • I promise not to promote my children to office, since I have none, that won’t be hard. Although an infant’s temper tantrums would be more understandable and reasonable.
  • I will, however issue one feline companion to every person working in the White House and install a kitty flap in the door to the Oval Office.
  • I’m opening applications now for Secretary of Litter Control.
  • I will only hire cabinet members from Old Friends Sr. Dogs Sanctuary and other local shelters. Their pedigree of cute will be all they need on their resume.
  • I vow that I will not go on Twitter and insult foreign nations.
  • Nor will I start fights with the American people then block them. I will only be on Twitter to deliver terrible puns and proclamations that my cats are assholes.  
  • To all people who buy and review my books on Amazon, I’ll issue ONE Presidential Pardon Coupon. They’re not really worth anything, but it’ll be something to put on the wall.
  • Although, Presidential Pardon Coupons can be exchanged for a free 11×17 poster of choice if you see me at a convention.

(BTW, this is a joke. My vote will forever go to Deez Nuts.)

TOTALITY

I started a publishing company, as a few people may be aware. I’ve signed 2 authors, and, as of today, have one book in review for printing. I’m aiming to have it for Imaginarium. I hope there are no delays…. x.x 

So that’s super exciting going on. I’m looking forward to selling it. The cover was done by our lovely NAni, they’re going to be the artist for the TOTALITY series. super fun :)

I’ve gotten my new covers for books 2 and 3 of the Natan Fleet Show fixed and in review now too. I’ve still got copies of the old cover left to sell, so there’s not so much rush to get those done as it was for PTH. Which IS done. I’m taking 48 copies to Imaginarium. The two copies that got presold are in their owner’s hot little hands. I sincerely hope they enjoy! :)

in the meantime, I’m going to rest a moment. Its been GO GO GO for so long I’m tired.

IN THE MEANTIME PLEASE CHECK OUT DANGER AROUND MOUNT PALLIN

Like, subscribe, reblog, post around random places! Make all your friends look at it! :D 

 

Imaginarium

I’ve finished getting the new cover for Playing the Hero fixed and it’s now up for sale once again. I’ll be taking copies of it to Imaginarium in Louisville KY too, though, so if you want it signed, come an GET EM! :)

Beyond that, work on the publishing company I’ve started (Moirae Publishing) is proceeding. We’ve got 2 authors signed – aside from myself – and we will have one of those books (Totality: The Militiaman by J. D. Huffman) available at Imaginarium as well. 

I’ve not had the chance to really focus on Shaxia. :( I’m working on getting people to delegate some tasks to in order to free up more time for me to write, but life has been very busy lately and I haven’t even gotten to play on Tumblr much either, so its not like it’s been all fun and games for me.

But I have been working on the webtoon Danger Around Mount Pallin. We have two chapters posted. We will have chapter 3 posted shortly… If you like, subscribe, and share the comic, send me proof and I will mail you a poster! 

Also check out the Patreon for sneak peeks of stuff, like descriptions of aliens, scenes from Shaxia, pics in progress from my slave ARTIST, and more!

What is DAMP?

~Eloi Concencin~

Eloi lived in a small town at the base of Tonjango Mountain. His family wasn’t poor, but they made do. His father was a miner, pulling Etheria crystals from the mountain and Eloi expected to learn the trade as his father’s father passed it down to him. His uncle, however, saw the boy had potential to be a guard and was teaching him how to defend himself when the accident killed Eloi’s father. Shortly afterwards, the mine was purchased by the Bruskur Mining Company and life in town got steadily worse.

Three years later, Eloi accidentally discovers that the cave-in was no accident, and that those who had died were targeted by the owner of the Bruskur Mining Company. Bruskur wanted to purchase the mine and replace all the people who worked in it with his own men. However, since the mine was owned by the town as a collective property, he was faced with opposition, mostly from Eloi’s father, who was head of the town council. 

Swearing he will get justice, the eighteen year old Eloi tries to stop further mining of the mountain through sabotage while he sends letter after letter to the Judiciary of Avlon, requesting an investigation. When a letter is finally answered in the form of a brigade from Avlon’s army, Eloi’s entire town is burnt to the ground. He barely escapes with his best friend, Cammie, and one of his father’s old friends, Bo. 

Swearing revenge, Eloi sets off on a journey to Avlon’s capitol, intending to take this matter to the king, and if the king is behind it, as the rumors suggest, he’ll settle for taking the king’s blood while he’s at it.

His signature look is twin blades and long red scarf.