So I was watching the Oscars last night and one thing trending during the red carpet portion of the evening was #AskHerMore. It was basically a plea for those doing the interviewing of the stars (particularly the women) to not just ask about the dress, but about the woman wearing it. It was a fun hashtag to watch, with some amazing thoughts and ideas being tweeted. (One of my absolute favorites was from @RebeccaSchinsky, who tweeted: My kingdom for a red carpet “What are you reading?” #AskHerMore)
But it all got me thinking–there’s another similar situation where (primarily) women are treated as mindless airheads, not asked substantial questions but instantly judged by one single aspect of their appearance: the romance novel they’re holding in their hand.
So what if more people adopted an #AskHerMore philosophy, especially when it comes to romance reading and writing? We could call it #AskMeMore. Under that hashtag, people could ask romance writers why they chose that genre, what drew them to it. #AskMeMore could be used to ask romance readers what kind of story they like–sweet or spicy? A Harlequin Presents or a self-published novella? Is it all about the Happily Ever After or is there something else that keeps a reader going back to a genre over and over?
I’m not trying to judge or be all sanctimonious or anything else, just encouraging open conversations before drawing conclusions about a person who lists Loretta Chase or Nora Roberts as their favorite author. Women on the red carpet are so much more than their dresses and romance readers and writers are so much more than the covers on their books.
So, three weeks until the official release of THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN. I’m so excited, but I haven’t been able to throw the months-long party I’d hoped to. There’s a lot of Real Life intruding in the happy, glittery, rainbow world of my debut book release, but I am dealing…
Ahem. Where was I?
Oh, that’s right–debut and Real Life and stuff. Well, speaking of Real Life, I’m going to let you all in on a secret of the publishing industry, one that I’ve wondered about as long as I’ve been trying to be published. Ready?
Lean in close, now…
(looks to the left) (looks to the right)
Okay, I’m going to tell you The Secret…
There are no elves. Yeah, those kinds of elves, the kinds that made a gazillion shoes overnight and the kinds that made every toy in Santa’s bag–magical, hard-working, making-miracles-happen elves. They don’t come with the contract, the aren’t willed down to you by authors not needing them anymore, and they sure as hell aren’t for sale on eBay.
I’m bummed about the lack of elves, too, because I sure could have used their help in blogging, creating some kick-ass promo material, and building a robust social media platform. (And that’s just the start–hey, if I have a magical elf, you can bet I’m going to shoot the moon. For starters, I would always have my favorite tea at the perfect temperature, an unending supply! Ah, the possibilities…)
So, I will struggle through the normal 24/7 constraints us elf-less must endure. The blogs may not be as many as I’d like, the promo material may be smaller, and my social media platform may end up at Honorable Mention instead of Grand Champion, but I am going to take some time to enjoy these next three weeks. I can forgo a video trailer and the tweeting of it if it means a few minutes to enjoy this wonderful stretch ahead.
And for that? I can make my own tea.
Okay, so here’s the deal–my day job is hideous (I know–first world problems, but they’re real to me, so there ya go) and drains me both mentally and physically. I’m looking for something else, but in the meantime, that’s the deal. Right now it’s Saturday morning of a 3-day weekend and I would like nothing more than to curl up with my tea and read one of the mountains of books in my TBR pile or watch The Mummy or Pride and Prejudice or any number of a thousand DVDs and simply rest, but that’s not what I am.
I’m a writer. That means on this lovely, quiet Saturday morning, I’m going to write. Be it one paragraph or a word count in the thousands, I am going to write.
WARNING: Extreme and innumerable amounts of favoritism in this post. If such thing offends you, you really shouldn’t be here in the first place. Just WAIT until I start my Doctor Who posts…
Now, check out his amazing piece of artwork, my friends:
Holy Smexxy Pants, that is one gah-hah-hah-GORGEOUS cover, isn’t it? It is hauntingly beautiful and achingly-in-a-good-way gritty and just gets me all fluttery every time I look at it. (I think it has magic powers, but am willing to admit that may be just me.)
Eight weeks until THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN is released into the wild and this delicious cover is attached to my dark Victorian romance. I am excited, nervous, a tiny bit terrified and so damn ready.
Welcome to the countdown.
It’s the 4th of July and in the states, that means it’s Independence Day, the day our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring our new nation’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. I celebrate with the rest of my country and eat hot dogs and watch fireworks, thinking of what this day really means. To many, they would say Freedom.
Here’s what I am adding to today. While watching your town’s parade or listening to a Sousa march, or even while at work or spending a Friday night watching your favorite movie if you’re not into celebrating or in a different country, I challenge you all to do this: Declare your freedom.
That’s right. State your independence loud and clear–say you’re not going to be victim to self-doubt, that you will finish that story, that you can do it.
Declare to the world that You Are A Great Writer. Write it down. Scream it out loud. Embroider it on a pillow. Just believe it. Because you are.
I can’t help it. Every time I think or hear the phrase “Respect the streak.” I think of Bull Durham. (Side note: Bull Durham has many life lessons, and I’m sure I’ll address them in the future, but for today, we’re going to stick with what to do with a streak.)
For those of you who have not seen Bull Durham (judgement withheld) or have forgotten this part of it, Crash (Kevin Costner) and Annie (Susan Sarandon) are having a fight about Crash’s mentoring of Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), specifically as it relates to Annie and Nuke’s sexual relationship. This is the gist of that fight:
Annie: Oh fine.
Crash: You know why? Because they don’t – -they don’t happen very often.
Crash: If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you are! And you should know that!
Wise words, Crash. Wise words, indeed. But why I’m bringing this up today is this–I’m on a streak. It started last Friday, so out of the blue I still can’t believe it. Now, part of the wisdom of Respecting the Streak, is a bit of superstition. If you believe you’re writing well for whatever reason, then you are! What I mean by that is I’m not going to say anything more about the streak, because I believe that talking too much about it drains it of its juju and I want to keep on drinking this particular glass of juju. May it never empty.
Respect the streak, people.
Yes, it finally happened. I got THE CALL. And, I found, just like the Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Grief model, there are Five Stages to THE CALL.
Betcha didn’t know that, did you? Well, neither did Wikipedia. If you can believe it, they had nothing on the Five Stages of The Call. (And I thought I could trust the internet…)
So, for your edification, here they are:
1. Not surprisingly, the first stage of THE CALL is the same as the first stage of grief: Denial
2. Where grief goes to anger, the second stage of THE CALL goes to Belief.
3. Bargaining is stage three of grief, but the third stage of THE CALL is Joy.
4. Grief’s depression is nowhere near THE CALL’s fourth stage–Realization (a.k.a. Really Sinking In.)
5. And then there’s stage five. Grief’s fifth stage is acceptance, and it’s rather similar to THE CALL’s–acceptance of what just happened, a.k.a. CELEBRATION!!!
Take that, Wikipeida.
March is supposed to come in like a lion, right? Well, that’s the plan.
Actually, the plan is to have February leave like a lion, March come in like one, then leave like a 7-headed chupacabra beast that was created in the nightmares of Ray Harryhausen and and has since be tormented, starved, and deprived of all chocolate. I think it’s safe to say, March is going to end like a BEAST!!
Something came up where the previous writing became editing, but all good. Forward progress on the writing, be it putting words on the page or editing those there is the goal and hey–sometimes the plan has to be altered. Organic plans, that’s me.
Sending you all juju for happy writing.
Yes, I know–I missed yesterday. Three nights of poor sleep will do that to you. Speaking of which…
Writing is a marathon, I think we’ve all heard that and I believe it. Granted, not everybody’s marathon is the same length, but for the most part, it’s a marathon. Sometimes you can sprint. I did that Monday with my 3K words. (I think my record for one day is 9K, but for me, those are few and far between.) Then there are days you take one step. That was yesterday.
I wrote one page in my page-a-day project and that was it, but that’s okay. It was one step, and one step forward is my minimum goal for any day. Could be a sentence, could be a paragraph, could be a page–it’s a black-and-white issue to me and a win for one sentence is a win for 9K words.
My goal for today is any writing, 1K at the least, I hope. I think I can do that. So, time to write.
P.S. On Tuesday I did write 1380 or so, so let’s round up to 1400 words. Better than nothing, so the day was a win.
So, day 1 of my self-imposed, week-long writing challenge was a success. My stretch goal was 4K words and I got a little over 3100. (I also did my page-a-day project at lunch, so I guess it’s 3100 words + 1 handwritten page.)
And I gotta say, it felt gooooooood. Like dark chocolate with sea salt and toffee pieces good. My goal for today is another 3K–I don’t really have a stretch goal. Right now I’m more focused on a rhythm, so if it’s 3K, then that is fine and dandy with me.
So, a little tidbit about the book I’m trying to word-count into submission this week–it’s not a romance. It’s not even historical. I guess, for right now, we’ll call it a thriller. To give you an idea, here’s one of the key songs in my soundtrack:
Hope you enjoy. See you tomorrow.