Saturday, November 19, 2011

Random Shoplifts....Again

Picked up in various places over the last few weeks......

~Yes, but I'm a competent drunk girl. (party, where else)

~Without either over complexifying or under complexifying things (please, people, save me from meetings. I am serious.)

~Don't go then. Just send a card and a ham (nothing says I'm sorry I bailed on your important event like a ham....)

~I have a lot of experience in the mental health community (people should be careful when they assert such stuff...I kind of wondered if she meant as a patient. Just saying.)

You have to have trust in a relationship -- you have to know the other person will actually take the handcuffs off....(seriously, more than I ever wanted or needed to know about the person who said this).

The Final Snippet: would be redundant.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When Life Moves This Fast...

Since my announcement last week, things have been moving very quickly for me. I have gone from one client to two under contract, and am in negotiations with two more. I have a proof copy of one book in hand, and am working on cover art and editing for client number two (announcement forthcoming).

I have confirmed a release date for Charles Bynum's book, "The Other Side of Hell," and also locked in a venue and other details for a publication/release/signing.

I am careening along. A few days ago, I felt a little frantic, and realized that it is frightening when things take on a life of their own and move very quickly. It takes such a unique set of occurrences, coincidences and circumstances, and we rarely get to experience such a confluence as I now find myself in the middle of. And it is frightening, much as I am loathe to admit it.

But it's frightening much in the way a roller coaster is, the first time you ride it. You can't anticipate the dips and turns, you can't do much about ending upside down once you are strapped in for the ride....and there it is. When life presents such a ride, do you decline out of the fear of the unknown, or do you strap in for the ride.

The ride comes with some fear, but also a hell of a lot of exhileration. And by the time you are afraid, you pretty much are too late to do anything about it all until the ride takes you back to the station.

So, when life moves this fast, I guess you'd better hope you wanted to be on the ride, because baby you are already heading toward the loop-the-loop, and the dips and turns are gonna wreck your stomach, but it sure as hell is fun if you let it be.

Here's hoping for a lengthy ride.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Taking Calculated Risks

After careful consideration, I have decided to go into business as Courtney Literary, LLC, providing managed self-publishing.

Essentially, I spent a lot of time looking at the current state of the publishing industry, and understanding the sorts of obstacles that crop up for really good writers, with really good products, which keep them from going the "traditional" publishing route. The alternative as it has presented itself is self-publishing or 'Indie" publishing.

However, self- or indie-publishing requires that an author become an expert on editing, layout, marketing, public relations, etc.

What I saw was a hole in the market for someone who would function as sort of a publishing manager -- take some risk with the author, much like a traditional publishing model, but bring the skills and perform the sorts of services which some authors simply do not want to perform. I understand some large agencies have begun to offer similar models.

Essentially, I provide at MY cost final editing, cover design, formatting for various formats for POD and eBooks, and work with the author to create and EXECUTE a sales and marketing plan, to include scheduling signings, speaking engagements, etc. My profit, much like a traditional model, will come as a percentage of sales on the back end. Clearly, this model is not for everyone -- many self- or indie-published authors neither want nor need the sorts of services I provide. But some do.

And let me make clear, I am in no way attempting to supplant a traditional model, nor am I advertising expertise I do not have (for instance agenting -- I am not an agent, nor do I want to be). This is simply an alternative path which is made possible by the sometimes confusing but always amazing things happening in publishing today.

Having said all that, I am pleased to announce that I went to contract about three weeks ago with an author, Charles Bynum. His memoir, "The Other Side of Hell," has a scheduled publication date of December 17, 2011.

I am very excited to share this with my writing community. Because of the amount of time I will dedicate to each project, I will take on only a limited number in the next 12 months -- this is not a solicitation for queries at this time, just a sharing of this new venture in my writing life. Thanks for listening and for being a great community.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Changing Course Mid-stream

It's funny the directions life takes you in when you aren't paying very much attention. Maybe not so funny, sometimes, but certainly odd.

I have been invested in a career as a writer for so long I can't really remember not having self-identified this way. I wrote my first legible story when I was 5, and I realized shortly thereafter that I was not a drawer of pictures but rather a scribe of words which in turn told of pictures far better than I ever managed with crayons.

I worked as a journalist, I got my degree in creative writing. I write.

But somehow along the way, I gathered a skill set that is useful. To other writers. Negotiation. Facilitation, Project Management, Design Management, Marketing, Public Relations.. Because, life just sort of happens while you are doing other stuff, or while you want to do other stuff.

And so, while I will always consider myself to be a writer, and I will continue my quest for publication, I find myself with a unique opportunity to foster the dreams of other writers.

And here's the thing. When you have an opportunity...when the universe tosses one your way, you damn well ought to take it. Yeah, you can stick to your guns, your original goals, you can fight the damn current, swim upstream, and force your way into whatever it was that you wanted.

But embracing the opportunity, embracing the chance, stepping into the flow, and incorporating who you are with what lies ahead, almost always works out better.

So instead of insisting and controlling, I am embracing. Instead of forging upstream, tacking against the wind and the current, I am going to change course and let the stream take my little sailboat of me where it will, into this new venture, this new opportunity.

I will always be a writer, but now I will be a writer who does some other stuff too...good stuff, productive stuff, and stuff that feeds my soul almost as much as finishing a story does.

What will you do when the universe suggests you change course?

The Final Snippet: No shoplift today -- just a promise of more info to come as some exciting stuff shapes up in my near future.

p.s., I lied. This is the final snippet: "For right now nothing changes…Working through issues on an hour by hour bases right now. Things are changing hour by hour…But everything is status quo." (I can't even begin to parse this...can you?)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rainy Day of the Soul

How is it we spend so much of ourselves on endeavors other than those which we hold close to our hearts?

As 2011 progresses, I find myself more and more involved in things other than writing and having a more difficult time carving out the time I need to do the work that feeds my soul.

Pay Yourself First is a concept that crops up in economic seminars -- when folks are having trouble with debt or finances, advisers will remind them to make sure their savings is taken care of -- and this is important -- our saving protect against the proverbial rainy day.

How is it we pay ourselves first in creative against feeding our souls via art -- writing, visual, music -- how can we bank against a rainy day for the soul?

I don't know. I just don't. I DO know it is important to make time for art, for our creativity, for that which we must express. But damn, I'm having a hell of a time doing it.

And so I am NOT participating in NaNoWriMo this year, though I have set myself a modest writing goal for the month. 20,000 words. And I celebrate those of you who are going gangbusters on your 50,000 word commitments.

The Final Snippet: "And we want to do this without either over complexifying or under complexifying things." (Overheard in a business meeting, where else).