My partner and I got married two days before conference, so the whole thing was kind of like a working honeymoon. Despite that, the Golden Crown Literary Society this year felt like a homecoming. Perhaps that sounds odd, with over 100 new people this year, but it felt intimate, loving, and welcoming.
We had a diverse crowd, different ages, different races. It was wonderful to see so many young people. The board is getting old (I mean that lovingly – I’m part of the board) and we need young, fresh minds to shake things up for us and keep us relevant.
I read from my soon to be released novel, Coming Around Again. Incidentally, my publisher had copies of the book at the conference as an early bonus and it sold out. I’m sure it had nothing to do with me promising to write naughty things in the books that people bought.
The writing academy was a shining star this year. The whole 2018 graduating class was there and they were amazing. Such a great group of talented and smart women. I was proud of them in every way. The WA also donated a free year’s tuition to the GCLS raffle and it was won by a woman who had been in the writing academy presentation, excitedly asking lots of questions. I have a feeling she is going to do great things.
The GCLS board works tirelessly to put on this event. (Okay, not tirelessly – we are all exhausted.) This is a labor of love as the board is all-volunteer. We all put so much time and effort into bringing the best conference experience to every participant. And our reward, other than the happy faces and awesome hugs, is coming back and doing it all again for next year.
I hope to see a huge crowd in Pittsburgh next year. We just keep getting better every year and I can’t wait to see how incredible the next one will be.
My patreon platform is going well for the first week or so. I have four patrons so far and I have posted quite a bit of content that others won’t get to see – short stories that will only be posted on Patron, rough drafts with editing notes, cover reveals that others don’t get to see yet – even blurbs from current WIPs. The engagement so far is fun…. the readers seem to enjoy the content and they like having a say in what I post.
This upcoming week, the patrons are getting a video-reading from my upcoming novel, Coming Around Again, release date fall of 2018.
There’s even a rumor I may post some of my poetry, heretofore only seen by myself and my cat.
And no one has to wear pants.
I’ve recently started using the crowd-powered content site Patreon. It’s a great way to offer content to readers and fans who want things that no one else will ever get!
Patreon offers a reward system. Sign up to pay a monthly fee and you get content from me that no one else gets to see – EVER.
Why would you do something like this?
- That content. Super awesome content. The best content of all-time. I mean, maybe.
- You’ll be a patron to an artist. (Writer.) Just like some old king.
- If I get enough patrons, I’ll just write and create content all the time and you’ll get even more awesome stuff.
- Not having to wear pants. (Okay, this one is really only for my benefit, but I know you want me to be happy and I’m happiest when I’m not wearing pants.) **For my UK friends, pants here = trousers. Don’t want to make this post PG13.
You can find my patreon page here
And you can watch my welcome video right here. (Cheesy jokes come standard. Togas not included.)
It always hits around mid-January, doesn’t it? The holidays are over, you’ve shoveled way more than you want to, you’ve debated moving somewhere warmer for the fifteenth time, and there’s nothing left to do but sit inside in seven layers and wait for spring.
I like to write during this time. I’m not going to be leaving the house much anyway, so I might as well make some productive use of my captivity. I wrote three books in 2017, and a great deal of that work happened in January and February. (And again late in the year in November.) In the spring, I like to be outside, and in the summer, there are conferences and road trips and camping. Winter is a good time to write.
Except – it’s January 14th and I’ve only put about five thousand words down on paper. But I’m not beating myself up. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to not be hard on myself. I’m going to follow the same advice I give my students. Sit down and write for at least fifteen minutes a day. No matter what else happens, you can make time for fifteen minutes. You’ll be amazed at what you can do in fifteen minutes a day.
It’s my commitment to myself and my readers. Fifteen minutes a day. I may not write three books this year, but I will definitely write at least one.
Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I wrote something about learning the futility of getting myself all worked up and anxious about something because it is never as bad as it seems? Yeah. I wish I could take my own advice.
I have my author appearance tomorrow at the LGBT community center where I will read a couple of pages, talk about myself a little bit, engage the audience, and try to get them to like me so they buy my book.
Frankly, I’m terrified. I don’t know why. I told my day job boss about it and she asked, “What’s the worst that can happen? They hate you?” Um, yeah! “Who cares?” she said. Who cares? I do. I do, for some reason. Is that a sickness, wanting to be universally liked?
The strange thing is that when I meet people who are strongly racist or ridiculously assholic or whatever, I don’t care about whether or not they like me. In fact, I prefer for them not to like me. And I’m usually proud to be disliked for things like my feminism or my liberal views or my queerity, because I am confident of those things and if someone has a problem with them. screw them!
It’s when it comes to the things I am a bit less secure about that the anxiety sets in. My writing is so important to me and sometimes I feel as if I am balancing on a string trying to make it my life’s work. I want people to like my writing. More importantly, when I am marketing myself as a writer, I want them to like me. I don’t want them to think that I’m a phony. I don’t want them to wonder why this woman is up there speaking to them as if she knows what she is talking about.
So here I sit today with a little knot of anxiety in my gut about an event that isn’t even happening for 28 hours and no amount of common sense coaching is making it go away. Still, the good news is that once I do this appearance and it is *not* as terrible as I have psyched myself up to think it will be, I will have YET ANOTHER lesson slammed into my face about the futility of worrying about things I can’t control. Maybe this time it will sink in.