Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What do Pride, Windows 10 and a Ford Ranger have in common?

Well, nothing really - unless you live in my world. You see I'm getting a new computer, it's coming with Windows 8.1, not my choice but Microsoft has forced the issue there. And for my day job I need a Windows rig, even though I prefer my Linux boxes. But Windows 10 arrives July 29th, which means I have to learn yet another interface tweak from the folks that never ask the customers for their opinions and have to make a decision fast about whether or not I want it on the new system.

The arrival of the new machine coincides with my need to get things prepped for Grand Rapids Pride on June 20th where several fellow writers were willing to join me and split the table fees while hopefully selling some books and crafts. I'm torn between wanting to take the time necessary to setup my new toy properly and doing  what I'm supposed to do. You know, the "adult" responsibilities of trying to get copies of my book sold and make a bit of money. Hopefully I make at least as much as I spend on the table space.

As if those dueling interests weren't enough, today I drove my beloved 1990 Ford Ranger, known as Bubba and discovered that I have a significant hole in the floor boards. This has me unhinged. I love/adore/have-an-unnatural-attachment-to my truck. If you've known me for more than 15 minutes, I've probably mentioned my truck. Bubba is my very first brand-new vehicle and my goal has been to keep him until I stopped driving. However, this rust may claim my truck and all I can focus on at the moment is how to get it fixed and fervently hoping it CAN be fixed.

This truck moved my husband in with me, so I've had it longer than him. It's older than all but one of my nieces and nephews. It was the last vehicle my grandfather drove, the last vehicle he and I rode in together and has been through 10 job changes with me. It has hauled more animals and stuff than I care to detail and made the trip from the West Coast to the MidWest with our pets on board. So yeah, I'm a bit attached.

It's obvious my mind is concentrated on the truck rather than the tasks at hand, like boxing the books to be sold, gathering the items for the booth together and making cookies to come along. That is when it isn't being occupied by our new puppy who has chewed up countless cords, include the power brick for one of my writing devices, pulled out the cables for our power reclines, and taken off with my shoes more times than I can possibly count. She is currently in puppy jail and voicing her disapproval.

I think I need a vacation...or to win the lotto. Either one would be welcome.

Monday, June 1, 2015

More Great News!

by Patricia Kiyono

Last month I mentioned that my novella Searching for Lady Luck had been nominated for a RONE award in the novella category and asked for votes. Last week I found out that thanks to everyone’s votes the book has made it to the final round! I also found out that I made the cut by ONE VOTE! I am so grateful to everyone who voted. 

I know it’s difficult to support every single author and whatever marketing promotion they have. I belong to two face-to-face author groups and several online groups, so each day I receive dozens of requests to visit blogs, support Thunderclap campaigns, retweet this promo tweet, or vote for someone’s cover or book. I try to accommodate most, but it’s impossible to keep up with ALL requests AND keep up with my own writing. So how do you strike a balance?

For me, it’s a matter of what else I have going, how much time I have, and how well I know the author who’s asking. If it’s someone I’ve met I’m much more likely to visit, comment, vote, and retweet. If I’m on a deadline and I happen to run across the request while I’m searching for a specific link or piece of information, I might not. If the request comes in an email and I think I MIGHT get back to it, I’ll flag the email so I’ll be able to find it later. If it’s on Facebook and I have some time to kill…you get the idea. So if you’ve asked me for support in the past and I didn’t come through – I apologize! Marketing is tough today when there are so many authors wanting you to read, review, and endorse their books. You want to help them so that they’ll hopefully help you someday. But you have a life, and you can’t be online all the time – especially now that the weather is nice! So do what you can, and don’t stress the rest. 

But if you’re one of those lovely 27 people who voted for Searching for Lady Luck, I definitely appreciate you!