Brand New Procrastinator

I’m discovering something almost all authors have known for almost all time: It is WAY more fun to procrastinate when you’re working against a deadline. A deadline is a surefire way to guarantee that all those tasks you’ve been putting off forever seem really tantalizing.

Example:

Erika’s Inner Monologue: I really should start working on my back cover copy so I can turn that marketing sheet in to my publisher.

Oh, but look how dusty the dining table looks. I should polish it.

You know what would be more fun, though? Getting that back cover copy written. Then you’ll have all the time in the world to polish all the furniture you want.

Yeah, but that table really is pretty dusty. This’ll just take a second…

One hour later…

Hooray! The entire house is cleaned top to bottom. Oh, I’m so tired though. My poor pregnant body feels like someone pummeled it with a meat tenderizer. I better go take a nap. I’ll get to that back cover copy tomorrow…

End scene.

This is so weird for me, I’ve never been a procrastinator. Ever. In school, I was that kid who finished essays the day after they were assigned so I wouldn’t have to stress out over them in the future. I’ve always been all about Making Future Erika’s Life Easier but now that I’ve got a publishing contract…Well, Future Erika seems to always have a better grasp of what’s going on and I keep thinking maybe I should just wait for her to get on it.

Preposterous. Because you know why? Future Erika’s just gonna keep being more pregnant than me. I should really give her a break. And maybe go admire my freshly polished table one more time.

Contract-ing Universe

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this yet. Maybe it’s a testament to how much it rocked my world that I haven’t even managed to put fingers to keyboard here in well over a week (though if you “Like” me on Facebook, you’ll always have updates first. Just sayin’…)

Anyway, enough coyness! On Monday of last week, I heard back from one of the publishers I’d met at the PNWA Writer’s Conference last year. I opened the email without any trepidation whatsoever, fully convinced it’d be a standard rejection letter I could chalk up to paying my dues.

Which is why I had to read the email three times before I understood what she was saying. She wanted to publish my book Enemy Accountant. Like, actually publish it. As in, here’s a publishing contract, I’ll put you in touch with your editor.

It really did feel like my universe shrank in that moment. There was only this amazing, unbelievable email and the blood I could hear rushing around past my ears. Bunches of phone calls with loved ones later and I believed it a tiny bit more, but it really didn’t sink in until I signed the contract and sent it back a week later.

So, barring some unforeseen circumstance, I’ll be an officially official published author in February of next year. Yes, I know, I published PWNED which technically makes me a published author, but this is different. There were no contracts with PWNED. No professional editors. It was just me and whatever friends were willing to read and critique it for me, plus an amazing graphic designer who did me a favor, plus the handful of early supporters and readers who were kind enough to give my work a chance.

This will be different in some ways. Cover design, title, and layout are all out of my hands. I’ll still be primarily responsible for the marketing and footwork in getting the book out there, but I’ll be able to say the book was published, that I stand with the full support of my publisher who read my work and thought it was worth sharing.

This is going to be a wild ride, and I’m so glad to be on it with all of you who have encouraged me, supported me, bought and read and reviewed my writing. You guys are the best, and I can’t wait to share Enemy Accountant (title likely to be changed) with you soon!

No More Drama, No More No More Drama Drama

I was drifting off to sleep this afternoon when a poem started writing itself in my head. In typical drifting-off-to-sleep-brilliance, I knew for a fact that this poem was ABSOLUTELY FREAKING BRILLIANT. So brilliant that surely it would be etched in my mind when I woke up, so I succumbed to sleep without any worry for its safety.

Of course it wasn’t there when I woke up.

Truthfully, it probably wasn’t very good. I know it had the word “run” in it interspersed at periodic intervals. It was all very black turtleneck and beret, sipping espresso by candlelight. There may even have been an allegory in there somewhere. I know for a fact that it had nothing to do with pillows, which is odd because that’s what I was surrounded by at the time.

In other news, I’m supremely grateful that Easter is behind us. For some reason, this year’s Easter was the cherry on top of an exceedingly stressful sundae and I’ve been anxiously looking forward to it as the culmination of the last crop of nerve-wracking crap I’ll have to deal with for awhile. Not that Easter was nerve-wracking crap. Well, parts of it were, but that’s not Jesus’s fault.

It’s not even worth going into all the things that are making my blood pressure rise, because they probably wouldn’t vex you like they do me. Suffice it to say, I’m hoping (pleading for, really) smooth sailing until July, when Baby Girl will join our family and then everything will go kablooey again.

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This is as far as I was able to write before Aidan woke up and needed something from me. Then, the next day was Tuesday and I took my car in for repairs only to find out the repairs would cost more than the car was worth. SO we hightailed it to a Honda dealership and ended up driving a brand new Odyssey home.

How’s THAT for no more stressful crap?

My life’s like an extremely mundane thriller show. “Will the housewife end up with a new minivan? Stay tuned for next week’s thrilling episode, The Odyssey Osyssey.”

Apples and Trees

My mother’s most common complaint about me when I was growing up was how difficult it was to teach me anything involving physical skills. Diving into pools, tying my shoes, catching a ball, it was all nigh impossible to teach me. She’d watch me do bellyflop after bellyflop, let the ball smack me right in the face, and fiddle about with the laces and wonder what in the world was wrong with her teaching.

Then, one day, I’d just get it. Out of nowhere. One day bellyflops, the next day perfect dives.

Well, it turns out my son got a lot more from me than just my hair. After a weekend of potty training, it turns out he’s wired in much the same way.

I studied and researched potty training, determined to attack it with a PLAN. Aidan took one look at my plan and said, “No thank you very much.”

Frustrated to the point of tears (because of my failure to do it right, not his) I put him down for his nap and sat down for a good, hard cry. Ten minutes later Aidan was asking to get up, and a minute later he was using the potty like he’d been doing it all his life.

I have absolutely no idea how that happened. I can’t take credit for it, I don’t even understand it, but it sure made a happy ending out of what was turning into a pretty dismal day.

It’s a good reminder to stay humble about the whole parenting thing. Sometimes your kid is awesome because of how you’re raising him, and sometimes he’s awesome because you got the heck out of his way.