Monday, June 20, 2011

On trying to blog more often...and reasons why I likely won't -- and Book Stuff

Breaking News: A fantastic review from Lisa at Baffled Books has come in just tonight, and you should totally read it. Because it's awesome. And I am not ashamed to admit that I love hearing positive things with regard to my work. Why? I've spent many, many months on this book. Almost two full years from conception to completion. And then some. So when someone says nice stuff, I will tell you because I love it and it makes me happy. When someone says something nasty about my work--which they have--I usually cry and binge on too many carbs, followed by intensive questioning of the validity of my existence, all the while repeating "Teacher said I spell good" and scraping the innards of at least ten Oreo cookies across my bottom teeth (even Canadian Oreos, so you know the despair must be bad). When I have reached critical mass in the hemoglobin-to-sugar ratio in my bloodstream, I resurface and carry on, hoping that another Lisa will come along and point out all the things I tried SO HARD to do correctly.

Getting ON with things... I have no excuses for so much time between posts. Other than the fact that I can't think of what to talk about. You probably don't want to hear me whine about the weather anymore (it is still raining), or the Canada Post strike that has kept me and the rest of the country from receiving or sending mail since last Tuesday, or the fact that I have two American Oreos left in the package (*Note: From the inception of his blog post to now, one of these Oreos has been consumed.) and I neglected to restock in my haste to get back across the border from Point Roberts, Washington, Friday before last. Did I tell you they pulled me into Customs when I drove over? They wanted to know what I was doing with all those books (thank HEAVENS they weren't packaged up before I left!) and if they had been sold, i.e., had I made a profit from them (no, officer, they're gifts for my darling bloggie friends--then I had to explain what bloggers were and why they're so important to me), and then they inspected my CAR and when the guy came back in, he wanted to know who Kim Norman was. (Those of you who received books will notice the return address is for a Kim Norman. That's my mommy. She lives in California, so if a book were to be returned as undeliverable, it would go to her instead of being shredded for insufficient postage back to O Canada). 

It was creepy that he paid so much attention, although I know that's his job, and thank heavens he's thorough, but honestly, the only way out of Pt. Roberts is by sea. Last time I checked, my Honda is not amphibious. If you're not familiar with where Pt. Roberts located, it's this little spit of land just at the bottom of Vancouver. Instead of it belonging to Canada, it is Washington State territory. I have no idea why. Whatever. It's a bit of pain to have to go into a different country to send mail, but guys--come on--the postage for a single book from Canada to the US started at $12.41. (I even sent one from BC to Ontario, a province IN Canada, and it cost $12.78!) For me to mail from Washington throughout the US, I used media mail, so they were all around $3 or so. THAT is a substantial savings.

So...yeah...definitely worth the drive. AND I bought gas and saved $.80 a gallon. Those of you who are whiny about the cost of gas in the US? I paid $1.34 a litre the other day. A gallon = 4 litres. That's $5.36 a gallon AND the Canadian dollar is currently worth more than the US dollar, so we are getting screwed harshly, without dinner or even an after-dinner mint.

I feel like Syndrome in The Incredibles. "Oh, ho ho! You sly dog! YOU GOT ME MONOLOGUING!"

Sorry. Trying to focus. Thing is, Danny from Bewitched Bookworms, now a dear friend who, in her non-Ph-D-in-biology life is sort of a graphic designer (you should SEE her early thoughts for the cover of Stratagem: Book Two!), told me I have to start blogging more. She said that people want to know stuff about the authors who're writing the books that people are reading right now. I cannot imagine that anything could be more boring than listening to me talk about writers and book-related crap (which is sort of why I haven't done any grammar posts...Grammar Girl does that so well, we really don't need me bungling my way through it now, do we?). As such, I've tried really hard to avoid shoptalk but haven't always succeeded, I know. Although if you DO want to follow my reviews for other people's books, you can totally do that over at the Best Damn Creative Writing Blog
Yaunna's rose + macro lens = pretty picture.
I don't post often because I don't want to talk about my sales numbers (which, for the record, I don't share) or the marketing strategies I've employed (which, for the record, I don't share because then you will realize I have no idea what I'm doing), or the fact that someone gave me a two-star review on GoodReads the other day (which, for the record, sucks) and I had my feelings hurt, despite the 22 five-star reviews and 18 four-star reviews that are there, too. I felt better when I looked at the other books this individual has rated, and she is one of those folks who tends to rate everything low, almost as though her scale has fewer stars or she's waiting for the next War and Peace to come knock her socks off. Once I realized this wasn't a rating assigned out of spite, that she gives a lot of books two stars, indies and traditionally published alike, at least I felt a little better that she wasn't out to get me. (Another note: I was just looking through stuff and saw that she has rated the book twice: one was four stars; this latest rating is two stars. I am baffled. Another reason why the GoodReads system might be wee flawed.) I hate it when people don't like me. It's inevitable, and there are lots of people I don't like, so it's only natural for humans to develop a distaste for others as part of the process of being human. I'm trying to evolve and not be that person who, when at a party, if everyone in the room loves me except the sulky chick in the corner, I will go and try to win her over. I should just move on. Her loss. I have cookies and if she doesn't like me, I won't share. And since there are only two left,--make that one--I guess that means more for me.

You wanna know another reason why I don't blog often? I started this post six eight TEN hours ago. I have gone to one soccer game, grocery shopped, consumed an ice cream sandwich on the drive home, tidied the house, eaten butter chicken, bathed two dirty stinky boys, talked to my dad (and then Mom and then Sister, and then Dad again) on the phone, nursed an injured 6-year-old after he fell off the counter in the bathroom and gave himself one hell of a bruise on his pelvic bone (he wanted to write Happy Father's Day in the steam on the mirror--yes, sweet, but I lectured him after the tears dried), checked on the soccer player's might-be-swollen knee, read fifteen pages of Garfield comics to aforementioned 6-year-old, taken a brief catnap, and talked to some dearies on Twitter in the time since the writing process for this very post was initiated. It's nearly impossible for me to get ANYTHING done in my house. 

Side note: The Vancouver riots this week? They're all over. Look for the photos of the thousands of volunteers who cleaned up the city, the partylike atmosphere as Vancouverites reclaim what is theirs. Don't be afraid to come here. The losers responsible for the carnage are being picked up by the authorities, a few more every day, as the investigators sift through more than 1000 hours of video footage and countless photographs submitted by an outraged public. The response by the citizenry in support of the police is unprecedented on a global scale: this is OUR city, and we will make the evildoers pay. (Omigod, I just channeled George W. there for a sec. Evildoers. I'm really sorry. Back to regularly scheduled programming.)

For those of you who don't know, when I'm not huddled in my car scratching words onto paper, I take photographs. (I'm also a copy editor. Let me know if you need your crap copy edited. I can hook you up for reasonable coin.) I had eight clients yesterday, including the four-year-old twins who played Manny in Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1 & 2. They are friggin' ADORABLE, and I even got their autographs. Yay, me! I try to keep these two (three?) lives separate, but seriously--you have to see this photo. Oh, my sweet lord. Isn't he precious

If you want Sleight-centric news, go to Facebook and join the party. If you have the book, take your photo and upload it so we can share the love! I have a number of reviews and Q&As coming up in the next few weeks, so if you're into it, you can get your fill of all sorts of random tidbits.

I'll stop now. That's another thing I've been told: my posts are too long. I sorry. I just have so many thoughts racing through my brain that I never know which ones to ignore and which ones to share. Imagine how frustrating it was to be my first-grade teacher...before my filters grew in.

Xs and Os