Thursday, July 28, 2011

holy self publishing!

i honestly had NO idea what i was getting into when i chose (read, could not for the life of me get a freaking agent) to self publish.

this entire process has been more time consuming than i ever could have imagined. i totally get now why amanda hocking says that she just wants to focus on writing, instead of finding an editor, designing a cover, formatting for paperback, creating the store for selling it, etc.

i've had my unedited book done for months. my editor FINALLY completed her round of revisions. and since then, i've been working on the final tweaks of the cover, and formatting it for paperback. currently, i'm waiting for the paperback review to say everything LOOKS okay for print- then i have to order a print. then if that looks good, i'm all set to sell!!!! but everyone says that the chances are pretty good that you'll find errors and things that need fixing (spacing out of order, paragraphs screwed up) in your book proof and you'll need to do everything

ALL

OVER

AGAIN

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i have had to buy the original photograph used for my cover

shoot my own photographs and incorporate into the cover

spend HOURS upon HOURS designing the cover- merging the photographs- hoping they don't look like shit.

then RE-designing and then RE-designing again until my eyes felt like they were bleeding. literally. they hurt to stay open.

i have spent hours formatting my book for paperback release. you don't think about things like having the chapter start on the proper side of the book, do you? well you will now. :)

then to have it on kindle, is a whole completely OTHER set of formatting. that took me forever.

and if y'all have a different type of e-reader (nook, i-book, etc).. i had to format that for EPUB.

still with me?

not to mention that all of those formattings are associated with seperate websites. so now i have 3 sites i'm using for all of my book formats. each site has to have its own page and store. so all of that set up has been.... you guessed it, TIME CONSUMING!

not to mention my website. updating it. trying to stay involved when i feel like i haven't taken my head out of my laptop for days.

have i mentioned that through all of this- i haven't written (aside from editing) anything in MONTHS?! i'm dying. i'm dying to write the rest of the other 2 novels that are half finished. but i can't concentrate and work on those while i have all these other things to do associated with the release of 1 book.

good lord people, it's a shit ton of work.

and then not to mention the fact that since i am publishing myself- and i have to use an online site to print my books, etc. they charge by the page. and so my book has to be a certain price, or i will LITERALLY make .02 off of each copy sold. which sucks because i've worked hard, and i am continuing to work hard. you know? so the way i have it priced gets me a few bucks for each copy i sell. which still sounds crazy, but i refuse to charge $15 bucks for a freaking paperback! i won't do it, because if i was the reader, i wouldn't buy it.

so yeah. i'm waiting to order my book proof. but i'm one step closer than i was yesterday to releasing my book! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chapter One!

i already posted this on my author site, but i figured i'd cross post it here for y'all to read! it's part of the first chapter of my upcoming book! hope you like it! :)


Chapter One

They held hands as they walked down a familiar street. It was the street of her childhood, yet somehow it was different. The houses weren’t quite the same and something didn’t… well, it didn’t quite feel right. She glanced up at the boy whose hand she was holding. Her mind was keenly aware that she didn’t “know” him, but her heart was telling her otherwise. His hair was short and the light brown color reminded her of sand after it had been washed over by a wave. Her eyes followed the shape of his body through the shirt he was wearing. She could see the muscles in his arms and his broad shoulders were hard to hide. His face appeared flawless and it took everything not to run her hand down his cheek just to feel his skin. Then there were his eyes. They sparkled with such blue radiance that every time she glanced into them, she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to look away. It was as though he could see right through her. She thought she should probably be uncomfortable with all of this, but for some reason, she was completely at ease with this stranger. He looked at her and smiled. His perfect teeth and full lips made him even more gorgeous.

They kept walking and he was talking a lot. He told her things that didn’t make sense to her. He spoke about where he grew up and how his house wasn’t there anymore. He talked about a fire, horses, and mentioned something about a soldier and war. Katherine listened to all the information, but didn’t fully process it. She didn’t know what was going on really. She was trying to take in the details he was sharing and make sense of it but logic was pushed out of the way. She was too caught up in how she was feeling. The pure love that consumed her every time she looked at this boy was unlike anything she’d ever known before. If soul mates existed and there was such a thing, this stranger was all the proof she needed. It was as if nothing else existed or mattered in the world around them.

She wasn’t aware of the noise at first. She was so caught up in her emotions and his eyes. Then she heard it more clearly. The sound of quiet screams started to ring in her ears. Or maybe it was more like muffled wailing. She wasn’t quite sure. But at that moment she felt her stomach drop to the ground beneath her.
“I’ll be right back.” He kissed her hand. “I have to go in there.”

Their hands started to slowly part. “No. Please don’t go.” She pleaded with him to stay and gripped his hand as tightly as she could.

“Katherine, I have to help.” He smiled at her, his blue eyes sparkling, and then repeated, “I’ll be right back. I promise.”

“You promise?” she asked him nervously.

“I promise,” he responded reassuringly. And with that, he walked into the house on the corner of that street that was so familiar, yet wasn’t. Grief immediately washed over Katherine. She fell to her knees and clenched her stomach. She felt a sickness she couldn’t define. She knew with unfailing certainty that he was never coming back out of that house. She started to feel the pain of a loss so great and severe she thought it might kill her. And then she heard it.

A single gunshot.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the state of MY unemployment

oh yeah, i'm unemployed.

remember?

i bet you forgot, cause i don't really talk about it that much.

if you haven't lost your job within the last 2 years, then you can't possibly understand just how bad it truly is out there. unless your significant other has lost their job... or someone who affects your finances.

when i got fired, i thought i would literally go 2 months (maybe) without having a job. i never thought in my wildest dreams that i would be one of those 99 weekers. but here i am. closing in on that 99 week gap far quicker than i'd care to admit.

see, i work(ed) in the entertainment industry in some form or another for what feels like my entire pretend grown up life. and so now that i'm living up in the wrong part of the state for that- well, my entertainment options are limited. not limitLESS (cause that would be rad) but clearly, without fail, reminded almost daily that my job options are... limitED.

if you haven't lost your job lately, then you don't know what it feels like to apply for (literally) hundreds jobs you have no interest in really doing. or to send your resume to hundreds of places you think won't make you want to kill yourself at the end of the day.

see, if i learned anything from my last work experience, i learned that life is too short. that we all spend way too much time at the office. our whole lives revolve around work, being at work, doing work for (usually) OTHER people, and then we constantly stress about fitting our family and the rest of lives into our work schedule. if we're going to be spending THAT much time doing something, we should really LOVE what it is that we're doing.

so the state of MY unemployment, is my daily search for jobs that don't scream "I SUCK" in my face. not to mention the fact that i have sent what feels like a million resumes for jobs in LA, doing all sorts of things back in the entertainment industry. have i failed to mention that most of the jobs i apply for, i'm recommended for? have i also failed to mention that i don't even get so much as a phone call for any of these jobs?

it's an AWFUL job market right now. and i say this because if you're working, you don't have any idea what it's like. you truly don't. you can hear people say it, but if you're anything like me, i'm sure you think it doesn't apply to you. and there is also no way you can relate while you're continuing to get a steady paycheck and pay all your bills on time.

if you know me at all, you know how fucking utterly ridiculous it is that i haven't found a job in a year and a half. but i can't tell you enough, how NOT easy it is. how when someone does actually call me back, it's usually to tell me that they love my resume, but unfortunately:

i'm way overqualified
or i'll be bored
or why would i want to work in that industry, when my background is clearly all entertainment based?
or you'd be great, but we can't pay you enough (and by enough, i want to be clear that i will not work for $10 or $12 dollars an hour, fuck you very much)

but you know, that's even IF i get a call or an email response. 98% of the time, i feel like i fall into some black abyss of resume hell, even though i feel like i should rise to the top with all the flying puppies and rainbow makers.

the state of MY unemployment means we're losing our house that we bought less than 3 years ago. because i lost my job, we can no longer pay our mortgage. you all know the hell we've gone through with bank of america, and how we waited an entire year to get an answer (OF NO) for a home loan modification. you all know we've stopped paying our mortgage and we are trying to short sale our house, instead of foreclose.

i interview for temp jobs i don't get. HOW DOES SOMEONE NOT GET A FUCKING TEMP JOB?!?!

the other day i ran into the guy who owns the local ice cream shop in town. he told me that he has grown men, who have all sorts of degrees, asking him for a job. asking if he can pay them to scoop ice cream. men with degrees, willing to scoop ice cream for a paycheck.

if that doesn't say it all about what the hell is going on out there, i don't know what does.

so yeah, i'm still unemployed. and that unemoployment check is going to stop coming real soon.

then what?

Friday, July 15, 2011

oh, harry potter.

i won't give any spoilers away regarding the last movie, but i will tell you this...

I

FREAKING

LOVED

THE


HELL

OUT
OF

IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i mean really!!!!!!!

i went in with not high expectations because i was SO disappointed after seeing the last one. probably because i hadn't read any of the books, right? and so i felt like it was SO boring. but in all honesty, i watched it again a few weeks ago and i loved it a billion times better than when i saw it in the theatre.

in all honesty, it was the first harry potter movie that i didn't walk out of confused. normally, i am pretty confused (who was that guy? what are they talking about? what the hell is a horcrux? why don't they explain anything?! maybe i should read the books!) but this time? NOT confused at all.

well, i'm not confused, confused.

i mean, i do still have a couple questions. but i don't want to ask them right now in case people haven't seen the movie yet, OR read the book.
can i please still talk about the fact though i do not like (at all, never going to like them) ginny and harry together?!
ugh.

it annoys the living crap out of me. and i don't know if it's because i don't really like the chick who plays her in the movies. that could be part (most) of it.

she just seems like a fan. like a harry groupie. i don't get why he likes her. at all. it reminds me of edward of bella. i GET why she likes him. but what i don't get is why the hell on this green planet, he even is remotely interested in her?!?!

i'm harsh huh?

this may totally come back and bite me in the ass someday with my books.

eeek

okay. so harry. the final film.

i loved it!! i wasn't disappointed! i wasn't let down! i thought it was really well done. REALLY well explained. i just thought it was overall, freaking awesome!

i totally want to go see it again. like RIGHT NOW! i will say that everyone said they thought this entire movie would be one huge action scene, but it's not.

at all.

there is good action, but it's not ALL action. there are slow parts.

but i don't know. i'm on a total harry high right now! if i had harry potter glasses, i would wear them around all weekend waving my magical wish wand at people, casting spells.

hell, i still might do that.

anyway, if you're on the fence about the last potter movie. jump off it! go see it! and then tell me how much you loved it, so we can be on harry high together!!!!! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

HOW word of mouth really works

um. i'd like to say i feel like a sucker right now, but...

i don't.

but all you marketing people, you should pay attention. because THIS is truly how word of mouth works.

here we have DRINK NEURO.

now, i have seen them in the grocery stores a lot lately. i paid them attention to them at first because i liked their bright, fun colors. and i liked the shape of the bottle. it was different. SEE- PACKAGING TOTALLY WORKS. but we know this already, because i posted years ago about buying herbal essence because their new bottles were pretty! remember that?! yeah. packaing.sucker.

so... carry on to me forgetting about the drinks. or not wanting to try them because they were pricey. even though i would LOOK at them everytime i passed them in the store, i was never really pulled to BUY any of them.

cut to twitter. and my buddy Matt posting about this stupid drink on it.
matt-tweet

so then i was like, "hmmmm, what is this drink all about? maybe i'll REALLY check it out the next time i go to the store."

but then i let that thought go and sort of forgot about it.

cut (again, yes. we're doing a lot of cutting. it's fun for me.) to an impromptu get together a few days later at a friends house. and her teenage daughter (who i LOVE, WORSHIP and ADORE!) starts talking about the dang neuro drinks! she says how they are her most favorite drinks ever, she drinks them all the time, she LOVES them, they are so good, etc.

and that my folks, was all it took.

2 people who i know talking about the same brand of drink within about a 3 day time period.

so what happened next?

if you guessed that i went to the store and bought one of each drinks that they were carrying...

well...

YOU'D BE RIGHT!

IMAG0193

so far i've tried 3 of them (sleep, sonic and sun). and up to now, THIS one is my most fave.

IMAG0201
(yeah. that's me. sitting IN the sun, drinking SUN for the full affect. brilliant i tell you. how someone hasn't hired me is beyond all reason.)

it's freaking delicious!!! and i half wonder if i love it the most because it was the first one i tried? i dunno, all i do know is that it's really yummy.

and i didn't even want to buy it to be honest. i thought it sounded stupid. but the boy wanted it. he said i HAD to get it. so of course i love the one the most that was the least appealing to me. HA!

go figure that one out geniuses. :)

was there a lesson to be learned here? probably for marketers everywhere. and matt, i hope you get buttloads of cases of neuro sleep (and send the NEURO SUN's to meeeee) for free!

and um, if you're in the market for a new drink... you should try them out. and i should mention that i did drink a sleep before bed (i thought the taste was EH. i mean, not awful by any means, just not super yummy like SUN) and i feel like i slept more soundly than i have in weeks. but that could be the exhaustion setting in? or maybe the drink really does work?

if you try them, let me know! if you already love em, tell me which one's your most favorite! and you think i'm a total sucker, you can tell me that in the comments section right before i tell you to go blow yourself. ha

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

so cal trip!

i went down to so cal last week... which some of you already know because you saw my post about MAKING DONUTS AT A DONUT SHOP AT MIDNIGHT! which seriously, was pretty much the coolest thing ever!!!!!!

and you read about my high school reunion. which again, was ridiculously fun!! a billion times more fun than i ever anticipated it would be! :)

but you didn't see all the other things and people i got to see while i was down there! it was by far the best trip i've taken in a long ass time. i saw SO many people (and not in a rushed way either).. far more than i ever normally see when i head home.

i visited my super fun gf who i have known since we were teenagers!!! we made a reverse oreo with our hot friend franklin.
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he was such a good sport and let us dress him up with silly glasses and do stupid things. we <3 you ft!!!!
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i left santa monica in my rearview (literally)
santa monica in the rearview

and headed over to my most favorite beach ever... (enter malibu, pt dume, surfrider, zuma, etc)
hello pt dume, malibu

headed home for my reunion, but not before stopping by my sister's house for a quick photoshoot with the fam!
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famweb

then i headed down to san diego and loved my drive along the coast.
san onofre

where i spent the night with my high school bff ali and her family. :)
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and then i visited my college bff's family and had the best time ever!
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what an overwhelming, emotionally satisfying, incredible trip- filled with people i love, adore and cannot believe i'm so blessed to have in my life. :) xoxo

happy summer everyone!