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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Hey!

Not sure how many have missed me, but I’m still here and kicking!

For almost two years now, I’ve been in a rabbit hole of sorts. Losing my mom in 2015, followed by my dad in 2016. My youngest being assaulted at school, and the case still pending. Life in general put a lot of things on hold. Primarily, promotion and this blog. First, it was the funerals. Then it was helping my sister with the estate and simply sorting through over 70 years of accumulated stuff in their house. Some things came home with me, and other things got sold. This is what happens when your parents die. You have to make decisions that aren’t always easy to make. And, while I have great faith in our judicial system thanks to my dad, the pace at which things move has been a learning experience. I keep telling myself it’s research in a way. If I ever need an accurate timeline for an assault case like this for a book, I have first hand experience now.

Back in May, I started to climb out of the rabbit hole I found myself in. Surgery finally happened, and the estate was settled. I’m on a path that will see me at a healthy weight that I can maintain.

I’ve got a monthly gig at a Barnes & Noble in Federal Way, Washington now. I’m working hard on simply getting back on the promotional horse.

As authors, we can’t sit back and think that it’s up to our publisher to promote our book. We can’t blame them for bad sales, or that we didn’t get into a local book store. We can’t email them, demanding to find out what they plan to do for us without bringing something to the table.

Plain and simple, authors have to market their books. They have to promote them. They cannot sit by and expect magic to simply happen.

Being an author these days is all about what we will do to promote. It’s not up the the publisher. They’ve got hundreds if not thousands of titles to promote! How arrogant is it for me to assume that mine will be the top of the list?

Stop blaming your publisher for low sales and take a hard look in the mirror. My sales right now are a direct result of the work I let slide. To refuse to take responsibility and whine (yes, I said whine) that it’s all because of what someone else did or didn’t do is reprehensible.

My publisher didn’t write them. I wrote them.

My publisher doesn’t need to promote them. I need to promote them.

School is back in session. The house belongs to me and the cats during the day. There’s no more long phone calls between me and my sister about what to do with this or that family treasure. There’s no more doctor appointments to get ready for surgery. There may still be court hearings to attend, but not for a while because of what happened at the last one (nope, can’t go into details).

Yes, promoting is hard work. It takes time, and has little immediate results. It gets frustrating when you do things day in and day out and no one buys a book that month. But it’s part of being an author.

Suck it up, Buttercup. There’s only one person stopping you from the sales you think you should be getting. Go stand in front of the mirror, give yourself a reality check, and get to work.

BB

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Hey.

It’s Wednesday, not Monday. And I haven’t exactly been on the ball each week with posts here.

I did a big push and wrapped up “Emile’s Blade” earlier this week. It’s with my beta readers now, and should be under contract/with my editor at Solstice Publishing shortly after the first of September. Now I’m starting to connect all three Amari stories (Fin’s Magic, Alaric’s Bow, and Emile’s Blade) into a single book that we can release in both ebook and print formats.

I’m working with two different cons now! I’ll be a guest at Renton City Comicon in October, and a panelist at RustyCon in January. Love that these new opportunities are starting to open up to meet readers. And help authors.

There’s been other things going on, though, beyond the books. I’ve had some real issues lately with feeling like I have too many balls in the air. Work, writing, house, college (oldest heads that way in a few weeks), high school swim practice for the youngest, promoting, doctor and dentist appointments, vehicle maintenance, and about a dozen other things. It’s led me to spend more time just sitting and not wanting to participate in much of anything over being excited for the future.

A lot of this is related to my parents both passing away within seven months of each other. My dad’s death hit me really hard. When I was there the last time, I brought home one of his sweaters just to have something that still had a bit of his scent on it. My mom was morbidly obese. So am I. And I won’t die the way she did, so I’m looking into having surgery.

Our insurance won’t cover it, so I need to sell some books. LOTS of books. We’re looking at $20,000 to get this done.

So, yeah, things haven’t been the best. I never set out to lie to anyone reading this blog. If anything, I wanted to be brutally honest. To live past the age my mom was, I have to do something now. And current book sales aren’t going to get me there.

Still, it’s moving forward with the planning. It’s getting the preliminary testing and visits done now so, when the money is there, we can do this.

Oh, and I’m going to take a dream trip to Scotland when it’s done and I’ve recovered from the surgery.

Ever so slowly, the door on my past is closing. In some ways, I’ve kept it open for far too long. I don’t think I’m done grieving, which is one reason why I had to force myself to finish up ‘Emile’s Blade’. When you read it, and I hope you will, you will understand why. I’m probably going to have bad days ahead of me. When the desire to call him and give him some exciting news will remind me that he’s not able to answer any more. And there will be days where the juggling act I do will want to come crashing down. But I hope, and feel, that those days will be farther and farther apart. That the good will outweigh the bad, the memories give me more smiles than tears.

The stories that still need to be written will come to pass. The surgery, and Scotland, will eventually happen as well. And maybe, possibly, hopefully, the future I want won’t be as far away as it seems.

BB

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Hello.

I can’t really say good morning, because it’s not. I learned of David Bowie’s passing when I woke up this morning. The world has lost a creative genius, and the afterlife’s ongoing party just had someone new grab the karaoke mic.

I did not ever have the pleasure of meeting him. Nor did I see him in concert. My exposure was solely through his music and acting. ‘Labyrinth’ came out the year I graduated from high school. His music was the soundtrack of my teenage years. Even though we never met, we have one thing in common now.

We’re both immortal.

All creative souls are. It doesn’t matter if you sing, compose, paint, act, or write. It’s not dependent on sales or awards. The moment you make something and share it with someone else, anyone else, you become immortal.

Those words may well be read by someone decades after you pass away. The song could be played at weddings for generations to come. The really low budget indie film that you helped your friend make in college? Even if it was never shown at Sundance, it exists.

Creative souls aren’t always recognized for their craft during their lifetime. Mr. Bowie was fortunate to have been. I for one am glad I walked the earth at the same time he did. Along with many other great artists, both musical and literary.

One measure of an artist’s success doesn’t get measured until they pass into the next realm. It’s how the world mourns them. They tributes, how they’re remembered.

So, before you rant about sales being slow or your genius not being recognized, think on that. Would you like to be remembered fondly? Or as the jackass who was never satisfied? Because the latter won’t get invited to join the party.

And I’d rather sing with The Goblin King and Freddie Mercury.

BB

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I know, I didn’t make my post last Monday. I was kinda busy. We left town on Wednesday to attend my mom’s memorial service.

I spent most of the last week saying goodbye to her. Finding the best way to help my dad and older sister move forward. Reconciling myself to her passing. And resting from the emotional/mental drain from the week.

On a good note…”Alaric’s Bow” released on Dec. 1st!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018SSJO1Q?%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

So, now I’m in a mode to refocus myself. Move forward again. I’ve never had a big fear of death. Life goes on, even if those we love don’t. Words need to be said or written. Children still have birthdays. Holidays still happen.

Once my work time is done and lunch is done, it’s off to work on Arwenna’s final adventure for a bit.

BB

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Morning, everyone.

Last week, I found out my mother passed away. I’ve spent a lot of time since then coming to grips with her passing. While I think I’ll still have difficulties at the service itself, time moves on.

We didn’t have a perfect relationship. There were more times than not where one of us would dig in our heels when we should’ve given some slack to the other. The fault was as much mine as hers. She was, however, my mother. For that I loved her.

Needless to say, I didn’t write much last week. Too many phone calls that needed to be made, etc. My sister has to deal with more than I do, and I wanted to help her as much as I could. By Sunday, the stress was enough. I spent the day either sleeping or huddled under blankets watching football. And fighting a cold that’d crept in unnoticed. I spent the day being a cat instead of an adult, and it was good.

Now, though, now I think I’m ready to write again. I’ve got ‘Alaric’s Bow’ with my editor. ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ is out for your reading pleasure (I hope). It’s time to go back to Arwenna’s world, wrap up The Raven Chronicles.

‘Wielder of Tiren’ will be the end of the series. I’d always planned it that way, and now I know that’s what’ll happen. Arwenna’s tale will come to an end, like every story must. Her world is dark, forbidding, and mirrored parts of my own life far more than I like to admit.

As I let go of my mom, I’ll do the same with Arwenna and Y’Durkie.

That’s not to say I’ll stop writing. Nope. The muse is out of her cage and refuses to be locked away. I’ve got two more stories for the Amari and their world ahead of me. Plus, I said something in passing to a friend the other day, “traipsing the beach of the river Styx”.

Yep, there’s a story hiding in those words.

BB

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Last week was not a good one. In all honesty, it started on the 23rd. That evening, we lost a feline companion of 16+ years. Athena was, hands down, the most intelligent cat I’ve ever had the privileged of being owned by. She more than lived up to her name. Whenever I’d get on one of my writing binges, she’d perch herself on my shoulder and purr as my fingers found the words. She is sorely missed.

Add to that a youngest daughter who manages to trip herself, strain her calf muscle, and end up on crutches and you’ll get a good idea how my week went. LOL

The thing of it is, writing is therapy for me. I’ll be able to dive into my characters and take the pain I feel and process it. Yes, there might be a few tears. And more than once my characters have not liked what I put them through. But we write what we know. You can imagine what it means to be beaten, but the only way to truly convey the pain (both physical and psychological) in your writing is to either spend time talking with someone who has gone through that or go through it yourself.

If anything, Athena’s passing will help in that regard. In ‘Wielder of Tiren’, someone has died. And their passing has caused a great deal of pain. It’s not the first time I’ve dealt with this kind of loss, but the pain is still very fresh. 

‘Fin’s Magic’ is moving towards release, and we’re going to do something new with this book! It will be up for pre-release orders via Smashwords! Can’t say when the listing will happen (watch this space!), as we’re still finishing up the cover art. Once we have a cover, though, it will be listed. The pre-sale will run for about 3-4 weeks. After that, it will be on both Amazon and B&N for a while. Eventually, it will become an Amazon exclusive, so be sure to grab your copy early if you have a Nook!

BB

 

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