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Self-publishing and other writing projects

I'll admit I was incredibly shocked that Dreamspinner opted not to publish "The Swan and the Seal," my sequel to "Surprised at Nothing." Especially since the storyline was stronger, and the world-building equally so. Due to word length, I submitted it as a novel according to their own word count guidelines, though perhaps that's part of what made it less desirable. This is what I received:
    While we felt your story had potential, it isn’t ready for publication at this time. The story just isn’t long enough, and we felt it read like a few chapters from a full-length novel. It needs the space to grow, both so readers can glean a greater understanding of the unique universe you’ve created, as well as to establish conflicts for the characters to face and then see them through to their logical conclusion. As is, issues are established but never allowed to find resolution. It reads as though a sequel will be coming, but it would be a much more successful story if readers are allowed to see at least some of the plot threads wrapped up. Many of the world building elements are unique and interesting, and they will be even more engaging in a longer work. The characters, while appealing, will also be able to reach their fullest potential within a story arc with a firmer beginning, middle, and end. If you ever expand this into a more developed novel with a stronger plot and greater conflict and resolution, please consider resubmitting it for our consideration.

This reads not only like generic boilerplate, but also as though whoever did read it somehow didn't recognize the fact that this was a second story in a series. I did note that, to be sure. Not only that, much less than the first story, this one has one main plot event that occurs and the resolution is presented at the end, pretty much with a bow tied on it. I'm quite baffled, but after a couple of days of wondering WTF, being angry, not eating or drinking healthfully, I got over it and self-published it anyway. I'm not in this for the money, but I would like the work to be out there for the 40 or so people who did read and enjoy the first one. Who knows- maybe there'll be some Reggie/Kelp fanfic someday! :)

So if any of you are interested, it's on Lulu and will (over time) appear on other e-book platforms like Amazon, B&N, etc.
E-book and print version form (which I went ahead and did since I know several people were interested in the first one being available beyond an e-book) is here: Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

I'm sorry it didn't get professional editor's eyes on it, but that's how it goes. I now feel free to start thinking seriously about the third and final story in this trilogy, which I suppose should have a name! My contract with Dreamspinner for 'Surprised at Nothing' lasts 3 years, after which I can have it back and may decide to put the three works together somewhere.

After all of that, today I finally have begun making edits to 'Defender of the Way' in the digital document from the printed out version in a 3-ring binder, which is what I've been working from since I printed it out in 2012. Well, I didn't start working on it again until about 6 weeks ago— but I'm excited with the new plot line and writing new material after so long.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/527310.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

More novella marketing

Since I'm can't easily embed a picture anymore, I'm just going to link to the short post I made on my author's blog about the cover art for "Surprised at Nothing" being included (and my name) for the One Little Pill DVD inserts. Also, if any of you would like to follow my fairly sad and practically unfollowed WordPress blog, please do!

https://ramblingruadh.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/more-promotions/

In other authorly news, I decided to register and attend the Gay Romance Northwest conference which at its core is a one-day event on a Saturday in Seattle. That, plus the $17.50 early bird registration cost and the fact that I can get an Airbnb listing at no cost to me, meant that it was worth whatever the bus fare might be to get up and back. Plus Ginn Hale is going to be there! I loved her novel Wicked Gentlemen. In fact, I will buy a copy ASAP so I have it so I can ask her to buy it. I believe I'd requested an inter-library loan the one time I read it.

And you all? I haven't meant to abandon DW and LJ, but I've been playing a lot of Farmville2 on Facebook and that's become my go-to for easy posting. That said, I don't put super-personal stuff there because I have so many work colleagues who may read my posts. I was doing some Tumblr videos when I first started the Sinclair Method, and I'll re-commit to that as I move into months 4-6 of trying it and seeing what changes I notice.

If you've missed me or I've missed something important, please let me know here, or via whatever social media form you prefer, or email! ♥

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/526864.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

So it's been a while!

I haven't posted in DW/LJ land for quite some time. In the interim I've gone on FMLA again to ensure that I'm getting my medications completely under control, I went to Hawaii for a week to challenge myself in almost every way possible, and now I'm 2 days into an amazing 9 day period of getting to spend every day with Evan at home because BHFT has a weekly shutdown for the July 4th holiday. Today I had quite the to-do list and I've done a tremendous amount of it. One element included getting out my sewing machine and making curtains to replace the 2 blankets that we had clothespinned to a curtain rod to keep our one room cool (we have a portable air conditioning unit that we keep in the living room, which is where our bed is) since we have crazy hot weather in the 90s and possibly 100s for the next two weeks. I also made a kitchen curtain to do the same kind of thing, with these amazing heat reflecting and light/sound blocking liners that we hung up in the living room a couple of months ago in anticipation of summer. Photos are below!

kitchen_curtain

living_room_curtain

I finally got back to my Reggie/Kelp sequel, as the one major thing I'm demanding of myself to be completed by the end of Evan's week off is to have the final 2 1/2 scenes written. I want to be able to send the first draft to a couple of betas by the weekend. Tomorrow marks the 2 month mark of the release of Surprised at Nothing, and one of my projects is to use social media to have a giveaway of a copy and to drive some traffic to my author blog. I also created a Facebook page to do with the Sinclair Method and people in the Portland area. I'm basically trying to create my own recovery group since it doesn't already exist. It's a lot of energy, but I owe it to myself and anyone else in this geographic area who may feel s/he is doing this alone for us to find each other and share experiences.

The past week has been incredibly positive in so very many ways. I'm back on track with basically everything; I applied to 2 companies with interesting jobs and have revisited my prior haunts of universities and will apply to everything that seems appropriate in the next 72 hours just to keep momentum going. I don't mind returning to Airbnb, but it seems pretty obvious that the culture and I don't go together very well unless I can stay at home all the time. I'm thrilled that I was able to buy 2 original works by Nicole Maki last Tuesday, and am really looking forward to hanging them on the wall in the next day or so. My other dream is to be able to buy a piece that my college roommate, Honor Marks, has done. She's an artist in Charleston and has been showing at Spoleto for years now. She had her first child last year on my birthday (thanks for that, roomie! I'll always remember his birthday!) but it just exhausts me to think about her having an 18 month old at age 45. Egads.

Sorry I haven't been around much- if there are things I missed or if you'd like to email me, please do!

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/526713.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

A little confused

So now my novella has been out for a couple of weeks. I know I have a lot of fandom friends who'd showed interest and support, but at this juncture, I know of precisely one person who has read the finished version and let me know that she read it. That's my stepmom. I don't know if people are reading it and just don't want to tell me their thoughts, or they're interested but it's not on their list yet, or if people are supportive but not interested in reading it. According to my ticker on Dreamspinner, I'm up to 17 sales. Whether those are the ones directly via Dreamspinner or a total of all outlets, I'm honestly not sure. I should find out. Still— I guess I'm not used to so little feedback, or not in a long time. It's made me less motivated to finish up the sequel, even though I believe it's much stronger. Anyway, the confusion and feelings of disappointment will pass, I'm sure. It is what it is. I'm grateful that I've gone through this process from beginning to end and I've learned a lot.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/526465.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Any possible reviewers?

Today marks the one week anniversary of my novella e-release, and according to Dreamspinner, I've sold 14 copies. It appears that Rowling and Gabaldon need not worry about me overtaking them quite yet. ;) Since I'm breaking into a new market, ie, not fandom, I'm realizing just how difficult it may be to convince new people to give me a try. That said, if any of you have decided to read "Surprised at Nothing" and wanted to review it somewhere, please let me know where you post the review— especially if it's positive. ♥ I would love to be able to post some review links on my author blog and tweet them and maybe put them on FB and such to generate a bit more buzz. Feel free to contact me off list if you have feedback/reviews, and if anybody does have comments about the novella, I'm all ears! :D

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/526120.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

My novella is released!!

I'm still rather in shock about all of this, but I have proof that I've earned my first non-fanfiction/non-fandom royalties. I have no idea how this (somewhat fluffy, especially for me) work will be received, both by people who are intimately familiar with my fanfic, and those who don't know me from Eve's housecat. Hopefully readers will fall for the characters as I did, but I just have no idea. I hope to have the sequel submitted to Dreamspinner within a few weeks, and I'll be very intrigued to see how sales for Surprised at Nothing go, given its genre. Urban fantasy works aren't the highest sales generators at Dreamspinner.

Rather than put in all of the links where you can go get a copy of my e-book, I'm pasting in a link to the post on my authorly blog made specifically for promoting my work at Dreamspinner. Surprised at Nothing is available in e-book form via a variety of websites and locations. Here's the post:

https://ramblingruadh.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/todays-the-big-day-d/

If you do buy it and read it, please let me know your thoughts! I want each successive work that I put out there that's original fiction to be of the caliber of my best fanfic. And if you don't buy it, that's totally okay too. I'm honestly worried that I will disappoint people who know my intense, sometimes bleak, angsty fanfic. But it's my first completed attempt at world building.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/526043.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

The last day

So the time has now come- today is my final day of leave. Thankfully my re-entry will be somewhat gentle in that probably I'll do nothing but read emails and watch recorded meetings tomorrow, I'm off Wednesday, then work Thurs and Fri and off again on Saturday. I am so grateful for this time off, for the luxury of time itself not spent working for someone else, but instead to work on me. I've had some breakthroughs, joy in creative company of others, time at my altar, time struggling as I start the Sinclair Method and how that figures into my life, time knitting and writing and writing letters and on the phone and in person with friends I see only too rarely. I need not worry that I'd be bored should I retire or Evan wins the lottery. ;)

I still have a ritual I've not yet manifested, one of forgiveness for myself. I'd like to write phrases down and burn them, but an apartment complex isn't the best place for that. Perhaps a nearby campground? Not sure yet. One element of note I'm taking away from this is a keen awareness of my nervous system and how important it is going forward to soothe it with quiet, peaceful time every day. Thanks to this amazing website, MyNoise.net, I can listen to waterfall sounds, ferryboat noises, Tibetan singing bowls, you name it. In the past I've been inclined to use my 15 minute breaks to do physical activity, which I suppose I could still do, but at least a couple times through the day I challenge myself to put on a timer for 5 full minutes to listen to soothing noise and either meditate or just lie still. I've perfected the art of distracting myself from stress and the like, but not to gift myself with soothing, gentle space not spent in front of a monitor of some kind or with any kind of goal in mind. I believe that doing this regularly will have as profound an impact as physical exercise does, and as someone with an anxiety disorder, is very nearly as important.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/525732.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Summer preparations, and my work leave

Evan and I went to Home Depot on Wednesday in preparation for 'summerizing' our apartment. We bought curtain rods and special fabric that absorbs heat, noise, and is reflective. We sleep out in what would be considered the living room, and we have large windows with only a set of slatted blinds. When summer kicks in and there's relentless sun and heat, it makes it challenging to stay comfortable. So when I looked at the weather and saw days of sunshine with the temperatures in the 70s and even 80 by Monday, we decided it was time to take care of this. It also helps that I'm on leave as I can get out my sewing machine and make some curtains as well. I'll also make a long curtain-like divider to hang from the ceiling to make our bedroom/living room somewhat blocked off from the rest of the apartment— we have a rolling air conditioning unit that we used last year, and cooling off just our living space is much more efficient. We did that last year by using thumbtacks and hanging up a blanket. This year we thought we'd be slightly more sophisticated. ;) But there's no denying it: SUMMER IS COMING.

My leave is going well; extra therapy, lots of bodywork, especially this week. I had ashiatsu massage on Monday, chiropractic adjustment on Tuesday, and today I'm going to get acupuncture and cupping thanks to a Living Social deal. I try not to think about having to return to work and the stress of it, and have been mostly able to do so. I'm pretty sure that around this time next week, however, it will be more challenging to continue focusing on the here and now, and not project forward. I've tried not to impose too many expectations on myself during this time, though I wish I'd wanted to write on my sequel more. OTOH, I'm not taking this leave as a means to finish it. It's time to heal, to sit with my feelings of loss and anger as they arise, and to take extra care and gentleness with my whole self. It can be difficult for me to turn off my constant need to be productive, but I've been somewhat successful in that regard.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/525456.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
April 29th! Lookie, lookie: direct link to my book

This is so wild, and so weird in many ways. Most of the folks I've come into contact with via the Dreamspinner Yahoo group are authors full time, so sales are very important. I work full time already, so this for me has been more an experiment to see if I could get something out there that wasn't fanfic. I'm very grateful to be starting down this path, but this first Reggie/Kelp pales to some of my visceral, angsty fanfic that I remain particularly proud of. On the other hand, you've got to start somewhere.

As the only positive side-effect to the highly detrimental insomnia I've been experiencing due to a particularly wretched detox (2 hours total over the last 3 nights. I've had sleep-deprivation hallucinations before and I'm going to be sure to get something over the counter that will assure that I sleep tonight) is that last night I was musing over the Reggie/Kelp sequel and had so many thoughts about it that I got up to write them down. New characters. Scenes. In fact, the entire story arc is now done in my head, which is a bit surprising. That's not usually how I write, and it could be that the characters surprise me along the way, which is always fun. Given where I see it heading, I've already written about a third of it, and now that I'm excited about it again, I hope to begin writing on it regularly. It was difficult to do when I kept getting edits and then a proof and other things from the original to work on, but it's all out there now.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/524935.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

My life has changed.

This. The Sinclair Method.
Graphs showing the extinction of learned brain behaviors

Opiod blockers. Available as a generic. Taken only when drinking, an hour before drinking. A drug approved by the FDA in 1994. Non-addictive.
pharmacological extinction

An actual proven chemical to change the way your brain reacts to alcohol. The Sinclair Method is used extensively as an outpatient treatment at the Contral Clinic in Finland. By 2000, they had treated tens of thousands of patients with a claimed success rate around 78%, with 25% reducing their drinking to complete abstinence with little or no craving.

And why isn't it used here in the US? Because of our inherited culture of saying that habits and addictions are moral failures, instead of learned behaviors of chemicals on our brains. Is abstinence truly the only 'success'? How about a life, truly lived? It's 2015, not 1939.

I haven't had this much hope for myself in years.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/524521.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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