Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wish Granted

Last night I started reading this book.

 Yep, while my peers are reading Gone Girl and Game of Thrones, I'm reading 1876 by Gore Vidal (who shows a propensity for writing his name so big that it looks like part of the title). 

Why am I reading this lovely, um, flesh-colored book?

Well, it started a few days ago, when I confessed to my husband that I was stalling with writing the next book in the Chasing Echoes Series because I'm completely, utterly daunted by the research it requires. Book 2 is Aviva's story, and half of it takes place in 1876. I know NOTHING about 1876. I mean, really you guys, I do mean nothing. I am really bad with time periods and history. I told some coworkers in the staff room a few weeks ago that if it weren't for the fact that they were labeled "I" and "II," I'd have no idea which World War came first. So while I'm pretty sure they didn't have microwaves in 1876, did they have electricity? What about cars...or was it horse drawn buggies? Had the phone been invented? What about the radio? Oh, and what did they wear? I'm kind of picturing Amish clothing. And what was going on in America during that time? I do know that 1876 is a Centennial year, but WHAT ON EARTH DOES THAT MEAN? 

Of course I can google these questions, but it still doesn't paint a big picture for me. I might find out that they--the 1876ians--churned their own butter, but it would take hundreds of questions answered before I had an idea of what day-to-day life was like.

In lamenting to my hubby, I told him "I wish there was a book I could read that takes place in 1876...just so I could bury myself in that world and come out feeling confident to write about it." A few keystrokes later, he said "Your book is on the way." He turned the screen toward me, and there it was. A BOOK CALLED 1876. I couldn't believe it. 

So thank you, Gore Vidal, for helping me with my research. Your beautiful book with its giant cobalt blue font on its slightly sickly-colored tan background is a wish granted. 

Okay, back to reading.

P.S. This book is big. Pretty sure it's going to take me a year to read about a year.

Monday, November 24, 2014


I’ve already said this too many times this morning, but I have to, here, one more time.

If you click on that above-link, it will lead you to Krystal Jane’s lovely cover reveal on my book. I had Krystal do the honors because a) I knew she would do a better job than me, and b) her blog rocks. But, just for posterity’s sake, I’ll go ahead and post my cover HERE, too. After all, Ocean in a Cup was the blog that had to endure all of my ranting and whining for the last five years or whatever; it probably deserves to have some good news smattered on it too.

So here it is, the full cover wrap for CHASING ECHOES:

And here is the eBook cover:

I have Najla Qamber to thank for such a job well done--love her!

In other news, I now have an official author’s website: It has all of the information about my book, Goodreads link, etc. There is also a blog section of the site, and I’m going to use that as a place to record anything related to Chasing Echoes, future books in the series, etc. Unfortunately this means TWO BLOGS again. History has shown that I don’t keep up well with two blogs. But I did take out the comment section of Blog #2 in an effort to help keep up, so hopefully that will work.

Ocean in a Cup is my personal space, so I decided I would like to keep it as marketing-free as possible. I'll go ahead and post a few links on my side margin for my book (once the book is available), but I won’t be pushing sales through these blog posts. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Please oh please I'm BEGGING YOU

Remember how I mentioned in my Soggy post that my poor little book is going to have to jump off the Amazon shelf and sell itself, because I'll never have the time to promote it? Well, admittedly, it's more than that. It's also the fact that I HATE marketing. 

I realize 'hate' is a strong word, but I'm sticking with it.

I hate it.

This is a sad little irony. Because, as an author, once you've published a book, you're supposed to promote the book. But I got into writing because I have a passion for WRITING--not sales. Begging people to support me makes me feel like, well, a beggar. I don't care for the idea of putting others into a position where they feel pressured to "check out my book" or "retweet me" or "tell your friends about me." It seems rude, like, "Hey, we just met on twitter ten seconds ago, but check out how awesome I am and tell others, too!"

And, while I understand the reasons, I wish other writers wouldn't do it to me.

So I'm determined I'm not going to become this person (ha! Whatever. Let me have my little dream). I mean, don't get me wrong, I'll definitely be putting my book out there. I'll do a facebook page and I'll post it on twitter and the whole shebang. And the day it's released, I'll joyously herald it from the rooftops. But I'm not going to beg my followers to "like this" or "retweet that." I'm not going to be dressing up in monkey suits to sell my work.

At least I don't think I will. I shouldn't have to be someone I'm not, just because I decided to write a book, right?

I just wonder how long my anti-marketing attitude will last. Maybe it's inevitable that writers must eventually become salespeople. Because let's face it, even though I may talk a big talk, at the heart of it all, I still want my book to be READ. In his article "Every Hit Counts," writer Drew Chai states this beautifully: "We dared to follow our dreams and this is where they led us. We’re beggars with biographies, hermits with head-shots, streetwalkers with stat counters."

Is that what I'm destined to be? A streetwalker with a stat counter, hawking my writerly wares? 
Oh baby, please click my 'like' button. Mmmm. Just like that...

I guess time will tell. But if I do become marketing-crazed, feel free to slap some sense into me.

Or at least spank my 'like' button since I've been a bad author...

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

One Sheep, Two Sheep, Cow, Turtle...

I need to post something. Anything.

What to say, what to say...

So my new iPhone has a ton of emojis. I call them emoticons, but my students tell me that this term is so last year, and that they are now called emojis. I looked it up, and it turns out that emoticons are a representation of facial expressions using characters from your keyboard, such as this: ;-). Whereas emojis are a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion--in other words, a tiny graphic. So the two aren't actually synonyms after all. Maybe I'm the only person in the world who didn't know this? Anyway, I have a ton of these on my phone, and it turns out that me and emojis are NOT a good mix. Like, I have this compulsion to use them ALL. From the simple happy face to the Easter Island Head (because, you know, the Easter Island Head has a ton of practical uses within a texting conversation). It's just that there are so many, and they are right there, one keystroke away, begging for me to use them. 

Take these threads, for example (gray boxes = my sis; green/blue boxes = me):

This last one doesn't have anything to do with emojis. I just wanted to point out that my twin sister with a doctorate makes up words like "Humpton."

I haven't slept in the last two days. Well, I've slept, just not a lot. The first night was simply because a demon possessed Beans--our pomeranian--and he decided to sit in the middle of the living room at 2 a.m and bark at nothing for an hour straight. It was odd because the dog almost never barks. He doesn't know how to jump, either, which makes him this broken, ground-dwelling beast, rather than the lap dog he's supposed to be.  Anyway, by the time Beans settled down, I was wired, and it took me until 5:00 a.m. before I could go back to sleep.

Last night was quiet, but I just couldn't find the off-switch on my brain, which is always a fun ride.

I actually jumped out of bed around 3 in the morning (sometime after the Macarena) and scratched down a short scene with Grayden and Audrina:

     "You don't get it. I want to hurt you. I want to drag you down my road of twisted perversity and I want you to hate it. And relish it."
     Cold sweat trickled down her neck. She already knew this. But hearing him say it aloud forced her to imagine flesh on those phantoms--to see them as real.
     "Is that what you want? You want me in pain?"
     "Yes," he said, and then paused. "But then I feel these waves rippling from you, and they're awful. They seep into my skin. And I want to change my answer to 'no'"
     "Grayden." In two steps she had his face cupped in her hands. She saw the conflict in his eyes, like clouds crashing over an uncertain sea. "I'm sorry."
     She tucked her head against his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her, too tight at first, but loosening at her gasp. She could feel his heart--his perfectly normal heart--beat against her cheek, and she relinquished herself to the realization that it was here, listening to his body's rhythm, that she felt safe.
     But something logical pulsed inside her brain. This is a faux safety, it said. This is controlled chaos. This was the way a smooth sea shone like glass right before being broken by brutal winds and rain.
     A storm is lurking, this logical thing said.
     She told it to shut up. 

So that's just GREAT. Another scene for a story that doesn't exist.