Category Archives: me me me

This, That, Stuff, and Things

I used to have this social studies teacher who absolutely hated “stuff and things.” Use either of those words in an essay question at your peril. So now I often say them, just to say them, because I’m just ornery like that.

I’m also constantly behind. Everything’s just late, crazy, and overdue.

Take the 1000 Sales Giveaway. I was supposed to draw that on Monday. Just did it now.

It has been such a week. Sales started a random upswing over the weekend and then just exploded. It was all very exciting, finally slowing back down again, but I’ve been so obnoxious this week that I’m lucky I have any friends left at all, and you’re all lucky I forgot to blog.

So I’m not going to bore you with a play by play, but I’ll just record that my highest rank in the Kindle store was #327, and at B&N, where there is less competition right now, I think the highest I got was #140. Don’t know how that happened, and I think I’m pretty much going to have to retire from trying to figure this stuff out because I haven’t got a clue.

Ok, I know, tell us the winner already. I’m just messing with you. The winner of the signed paperback of Hush Money is Marta! Because Random.org thought to itself: which number feels like international postage?? Hahaha. That’s awesome, though, and Marta, I am very excited to send this to you.

Speaking of contests, I think Robin and I have settled on a cover concept and images for Heroes ‘Til Curfew. Last night I sent her a bunch of spew, descriptions of Dylan, some recurrent themes and imagery from the new book, that kind of crap. What she came up with is pretty awesome on the first try.

It’s not ready yet. I have to buy the stock images, she has to play with the color and make some adjustments, and I apologize for just teasing you like this with nothing to show. But I’m sure we’ll have it ready for you soon. I already feel so much pressure about this sequel that, to be honest, I’m sort of afraid of the cover reveal. Because I just think Robin’s work is so awesome it’s going to make a mob come to my house and chain me to this machine until I finish the story to go with it.

Which Kait suggested might not be a bad thing.

Smartass.

Anyway, I asked Robin if she was inspired by any of the responses in the Find My Dylan contest, and it seemed that her image selection came mainly from what I told her about the story. We agreed that it’s probably best to go with random selection on that too. So when we’re 100% on everything, and ready to reveal the cover, I’ll announce the winner on that as well. Thanks to everyone who helped look for Dylan.

In other news, my husband and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. I’ve now been married half my life. Whew.

NaNoWriMo is going pretty slowly. November is always a bear for me. Just in this week I had my attention sucked away by the awesome upswing of sales, our anniversary, election day means a day of no school, I should have had my knitting day but got sick, then doll club with my mom today, and tomorrow I have a bazillion errands and a social commitment I should honor. So that’s all interfering a bit with my whole BICHOK program, but most of what interferes with that program is me. I got 1230 words today of what is mainly note-form to be turned into proper prose later (well, as proper as we get in the Talent Chronicles), which brought me up just over 4100, I guess. I forget, but I updated it at the website, so it’s probably in the sidebar. The stats tell me I’m behind. Big surprise.

How is everyone else doing?

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Filed under Contests, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Hush Money, love, me me me, nano, NaNoWriMo, progress update, romance, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, word count, writing

The quick lame post jumped over the lazy blogger…

…and commences making excuses for lack of content. My randomness is spewed below. You have been warned.

Just checking in and saying hey. I had some thoughts for you, but I gave them away. No, really. There were a few things rolling around in my brain from the series last week, so I wrote them down. And then I handed them over to Reena Jacobs who recently asked for indie-related articles for her blog. So you can read my thoughts on the parts of your listing over which you have control, focusing on blurbs and your sample. The post will be titled: Never Too Late To Change.

So that’s tomorrow (Thursday, 10/21). On Friday, I’ve got an interview with Chris Kelly. He’s a writer who’s passionately indie, he’s way into Steampunk, and he’s Scottish. I can’t imagine what more you want, people.

In awesomesauce fan mail news this week, I got an email from a reader in Spain. Yes, Spain! Ok, maybe you don’t think that’s too exciting, but it appeals to my inner need for world domination. Also, last night, yet another of those snarky thanks a lot for making me stay up until the wee hours because I couldn’t put your damned book down emails. Those make me happy.

Speaking of things that make me happy, another book blogger showed Hush Money some love last week while I was out of town and couldn’t tweet about it, so I’ll mention the Fragments of Life review now.

People keep telling me they hate Marco. There should be club. What’s the opposite of a fan club? All I’m coming up with is lynch mob.

I may reach 1000 sales this month. That would be amazing. Because of the number of copies I’ve given away, I’ll almost certainly reach 1000 downloads. But 1000 sales, 1000 people who actually paid money to read my work? I know I say awesome a lot, but come on. Not sure; I might need just a bit of a push in sales to squeak by, but we’ll see.

I’d kind of like to do something, but I’ve no ideas. And no budget. Any ideas what might be fun? (and cheap?)

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Filed under blogs, book blogs, Hush Money, ideas, Laws of the Universe, links, love, me me me, progress update, Signs, Talent Chronicles, tips, writing

You know, rankings mean so little…

That’s what I like to think about life in general. Until I clicked to my Amazon UK page and noticed that there’s a #1 on there. So I clicked on the link for that category list, and here’s what popped up:

Hush Money hit #1 in my primary category at Amazon

Yeah, I’ve got a very long way to go in the US yet. Here I share the list with every edition of every volume of Twilight. But I’ve been holding in the mid-range this week, and feeling pretty good about how Hush Money is doing in general.

This, though, was just a blast. People on Twitter popped up to RT and congratulate me over it, and I had my little diva moment. And that kind of stuff is just plain fun.

Speaking of just plain fun, Book-Crazy Jenn posted a Q&A we did on her blog today. She dressed it up with all kinds of images and videos that related to my answers. What a fun chick to hang out it. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her a bit. She really makes an effort to make her content interesting for her readers.

It’s one of those days where life is too fun to deal with teen angst and government thugs. Quick, someone bring me down so I can go get some work done!

Just kidding. Really. Be nice.

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Filed under book blogs, books, goals, Hush Money, interviews, Laws of the Universe, me me me, Signs, Talent Chronicles, writing

Now Appearing Live!

I have book! Finally.

Not on Amazon yet. If you’re waiting for Amazon, that’s still going to be a few days (I’m hoping for Thursday night or Friday). [ETA: The page has started and it’s buyable now! Check out the link in the sidebar.) But you can download the Kindle-compatible sample from Smashwords and get started on that.

This self-publishing stuff isn’t so hard, but it can be very tedious and frustrating. Fortunately, I had no formatting issues with the Meatgrinder at Smashwords–at least none that I’ve seen so far. When I submitted my file last night, it was to find out that I was #663 in the queue to be formatted. After a day of fixing little things, adding a few excerpts and shout-outs to the back matter of the book, etc., I was just too bleary-eyed and spent to stay up and wait for it.

When I woke up this morning, it was all set to go. But no sooner did I start to page through the HTML file to make sure it was ok, then Smashwords went down and stayed down for hours.

Now it’s back up and you can go get your very own copy of Hush Money. It’s available in several formats that should please just about everyone. You can also find it in PDF on Scribd. If you need some format you don’t see, please contact me and let me know.

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Filed under books, Hush Money, Laws of the Universe, links, me me me, progress update, self-publishing, Signs, Talent Chronicles, Violations, writing

Holding Pattern

The good news: I’m publishing today.

The not as good news: I’m not totally sure about being live today, and won’t be until I have it all buyable right in front of me.

I’m very anxious/hyper/nervous/excited today, so please bear with me.

Kait, who actually said the other day “I love Adobe Acrobat!”, offered to do the PDF and whatever headers and stuff I need to file for copyright. (Actually, she’s ranting today about how formatting is not hard. Check it out.) But she had real work to do this morning so I must wait until after lunch for her awesomeness to finish doing my work for me.

After that, it’s upload city, baby, and I get to see if it’s really as no hard as she says. So far, everything I’ve done is really…not that hard. I just have to wait to see if it all blows up before I can actually talk about it.

While we’re waiting, if you would consider liking my new Facebook author page, that would really help me look less losery, thanks so much.

I should be doing more productive stuff. I have a list, but I haven’t opened it today. I’ve been thinking about printing with Createspace, doing some reading on that, asking for some experiences and opinions and stuff. My biggest obstacle really is that I have to go back to Robin for the rest of the cover since I only bought a front. Her price for that is really reasonable, I just don’t have a lot of money right now. I wonder if she’d accept this slightly used puppy who ripped through two skeins of pricey yarn this morning… Likely not, and I couldn’t blame her.

Anyway, see, this is the thing with the hyper. I get really rambly. I’ve got to go do something while I wait. I’ll get those links out to you soon!

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Filed under books, Hush Money, knitting, links, me me me, progress update, rant, romance, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, writing

Five little bits on a Saturday morning

Reason number one for this post: I’m still really excited about my new book cover!

Other than that, excuses for this Saturday morning post are as follows:

2. To check and see if I’ve fixed my NetworkedBlogs stuff that got broken when I did some domain-forwarding stuff.

3. To make sure you’ve heard about this contest to win the Mortal Instruments books in hardcover, and remind you that it’s the last day to enter.

4. To mention that I’ve recently finished reading Portal and Glimpse and really enjoyed both.

5. To remind you that today’s the last day of the sale at Smashwords. The two links above are Amazon, but both those reads are available at Smashwords.

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Filed under books, Hush Money, links, me me me, Talent Chronicles, writing

The Big Reveal…

I have a book cover!!

Cover Art by Robin Ludwig

Two months ago, I contacted an artist to work on my cover. Unfortunately, she had a lot of personal life issues this summer and finally had to pull out of the job–just as I was sending my final draft off for copy editing.

A few days ago, I went to Robin, of Robin Ludwig Design Inc., with my tale of woe. She pulled together what I think is a beautiful cover in just a few days. She spent a lot of time with me looking at images and tweaking the design. She really made an effort to get a feel for my work and my tastes, and to understand what the story and characters were about. Absolutely amazing communication and service. Robin manages to be 100% professional while still being approachable, personable, and fun to work with. And while I was initially scared by how professional her website appears, her rates were completely reasonable and she did everything she could to work within my budget. In addition to doing the cover, she also quickly worked up a new blog header, background, and avatar for me, so that I could update my formerly uninspired-looking blog to match the new book.

Indies, if you’re looking for a cover artist, consider Robin. Feel free to tell her I sent you.

Now, more about ME…

Like I said, Hush Money is with the copy editor over the weekend. And now I have my cover. I think the last thing I need to do is register the copyright, and then I’ll be all ready to upload to Amazon and Smashwords, possibly as early as Monday, August 2nd. It’s very exciting in a head-spinny kind of way.

So much so, in fact, that I can’t remember if there was other stuff I’m supposed to tell you. You can read a bit about the Talent Chronicles series by clicking the new tab at the top, or by clicking here, and you’ll find a brief excerpt here.

I’m so excited! I’ll be announcing here when it becomes available for purchase, so I hope you’ll stay tuned.

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Filed under books, Hush Money, love, me me me, progress update, romance, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, writing

Too Many Babies

Seriously. I feel surrounded.

I had so hoped to be finished with Hush Money and have it out the door before my daughter’s birthday. Holidays of any kind stress me, and being at Chuck E Cheese’s, on a Saturday, with a bunch of 5-6 year olds is really more stress than anyone should have to deal with. But a good time was had by some, and I’m calling birthday #6 for baby #1 a success.

Baby #2’s name is Beau. We brought him home on Thursday. He’s a huge puppy of not quite 5 months. He was treated like the adorable puppy he is until he got too big to handle and had to find a new home. I’m exhausted.

Baby #3, Hush Money, is finished. I’ve sent it off for final copy edits. I’ve been dragging my feet a bit on getting it to this stage because I’ve been waiting on cover art. Yesterday my cover artist finally decided to pull out due to some personal life stuff, but I’ve talked to a new one and I hope she can turn out something fantastic fairly quickly. I’d really like to have this out by the 1st.

Baby #4, Heroes ‘Til Curfew, is developing nicely. My basic outline is 3/4 finished–quarters 1, 2, and 4. Over the weekend I came up with the last missing major plot point, so I’m ready to hammer out part 3, I just need to sit down and focus without all these other babies dividing my attention. Not only is this story a bit longer and more involved than the first, but it’s got a lot more action/fight scenes that take me longer to block out. I’m anxious to get going on it.

Oh, and PS for more new babies. Doll stuff. I’ve been expecting some new ball-jointed dolls that have either been on order, or on layaway for, like, ever. My Unoa Sist showed up over the weekend. For the uninitiated, Unoas (when you can GET one!) come as unassembled kits. I was going to check mine over just to make sure she was all good and then leave her to put together at my leisure. However, possibly having realized that might be never, I ended up putting her together right away and now she’s waiting in the face-painting queue with the other impatient, unpainted dolls. Crescent Shop was awesome to deal with. I just got word that my layaway is complete and my Dollzone couple should ship out today. (Mint on Card Inc, great to deal with as usual.) So two more for the faceup queue by the end of the week. I need to find the energy for some pictures: birthday, new dog, new dolls, my obligatory collection comparison shots, etc.

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Filed under bjds, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Hush Money, me me me, Other Stuff, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, writing

Self-Publish or Perish?

My random musing just now is that I have really awesome friends. I have managed to be the life-sucking force that received, due to the whining, two–count ’em two–pep talks yesterday.

In an ordinary world, this would go on to explain beginning with the phrase: as some of you know…

Except you don’t. (You don’t know anything about me! she shrieked, dissolving into a fit of hysterics.) And the reason for this is because I don’t tell you. Because I really don’t want to.

Not surprisingly, the reason for my current Angst Level Magenta has a lot to do with how close I am to finishing Hush Money which I will then (will, dammit!) self-release. Which will then languish, unsold except by the aforementioned friends and my mom, assuming she can’t figure out how to buy it. It will, no doubt, figure out how to gather dust and cobwebs, even having no physical form in this realm, being an ebook and all.

Why? No, it’ s not terrible. I mean, I’m hard on myself and even *I* know it’s not a bad book, and it will be an even better one by the time I’m finished with it.

No, it’s all platform platform platform, and the much dreaded marketing. You know that person who has trouble tooting their own horn? Yeah, I’m not much of a tooter. Nor, as it turns out, a Tweeter, FBer, blogger…

In a lot of ways, I am the last person who should consider self-publishing. Seriously. If I believe in the book, why don’t I just wrap it up, send it to NY, and let them deal with this crap?

Because they won’t.

Because they’ll still expect me to market myself anyway, to some extent. Then they’ll want me to plan this many books in the series (I know, series? Hey, we’re in my dream, so just shut it), but then the numbers won’t be good enough and I’ll have to write something else. They’ll want me to add extraneous crap to bring it up to the right number of pages or cut out development that makes it fall flat for the same reason. They’ll want this, they’ll want that. They’ll hold back my ebook releases, price them ridiculously high, and price-fix them so no one can get around it. As though the joy of getting a bargain isn’t an inalienable right.  And that’s after I let it sit for 2 years while I spend money shopping it all around to find out if anyone wants it at all during which time–

No. See how that’s not the least bit appealing? I don’t need all that hassle. I don’t need that particular brand of validation anymore. For some people, it’s still the dream and that’s cool, but I’m just over it.

And because it just seemed so much like some ridiculous circus act for which I did not want to take my years of practice to untold numbers of auditions, over untold years, to maybe get a slot in someone’s tent, to be told how many shows I was going to have to do, and where, and when, and what brand of clown shoes to wear… I gave up writing entirely.

Now there was just a collective gasp from the writers. All two of you who are actually reading this post because I know that you cannot BREATHE without writing. (Writers can be such hyperbole waiting to happen.) How did I live? you ask.

I worked on some of my creative endeavors that are not writing related. I got back into doll collecting. I built up a sewing-related business for a while. I smocked, knitted, cooked, watched a bunch of movies… I read. Fiction. I continued to read about the craft of writing because it’s interesting. I continued working on projects that were not mine with my writing friends. I participating in a lot of brainstorming sessions. Did beta reading and editing. And I never gave up the people who live in my head or stopped playing in their world. Why would I?

And then there was self-publishing. Which of course has been around in various forms…always. But you know what I’m talking about. It swooped into my understanding bringing the notion of freedom– to do just what I want, for those who want it, to be able to do it when I can, the way that only I can do it.  That it was possible. That suddenly I wanted to do it again…

That’s why. It’s not self-pub or trad pub for me. It’s self-pub or be satisfied writing for myself alone. Self-pub or give it up again.

Self-publish or perish?

Hi, I’m Susan Bischoff and I’ve got a thing for love stories and superheroes. I write about people with supernatural powers in a world that fears them. I like to explore how the things that make us different from each other sometimes make life difficult, and sometimes are the making of us. My first book is about a teenage girl who is learning to choose between being right and being safe–among other things. It’s called Hush Money, and it’s almost done.

I will try to be better about the talking thing.

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Filed under Hush Money, insecurities, me me me, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, writing

Letters to Casey

Feb 28 to April 28. Shall I blog every other month, do you think?

Everything’s different. My dashboard’s all funky. I have no idea what’s happened.

My sewing stuff is just nuts. I’m stressed and busy and still loving it. I’ve had to close up shop and go to custom orders only. Oohlala, the exclusivity of my dolly couture. It’s all good.

But it hasn’t been good for my writing. When the dressmaking first started to take over, I took a firm step back away from the computer. In a few places where I was expected, I checked in to say good-bye and be back later to friends and I spent about a month trying to adjust to my new workload. And I find that now, after 2 months, not only has my fiction suffered, but I’ve forgotten how to blog. Wow.

If you’ve read me before, you might remember that I feel like blogging is an important element for me as far as maintaining my own voice and just being able to let words come as easily as ideas. It helps to keep things running more in sync, I suppose, though of course they rarely truly do that. And when I found that I was sitting in front of my screen, even at my personal blog where I have been for years and where I have felt very comfortable for a very long time, I didn’t know where to start or what to say, and I found myself way too concerned about whether the subjects I had to talk about were going to be of interest to those who would read.

So often Howard Roark whispers to me that I shouldn’t care about that. And so often I forget how useful it is to say that this is mine and if you don’t like it, you’re welcomed to go elsewhere.

I’m sure I’m quite off track as far as what I was going to talk about, but losing that comfort zone I had in blogging, I had no way to get myself back into the writing. And then I decided to write Letters to Casey.

Lame as it seems to say it, I made myself an imaginary friend. Someone I’d met who was just terribly interested in hearing about my current story. Someone who wanted to hear every little thing I had to say about my work. And seeing as how she has that handicap of being imaginary, it’s somewhat easier to accept that she does not express the proper amount of interest and doesn’t bestow the wanted amount of unearned praise. Real people you just have to be annoyed an how clueless and insensitive and wrapped up in their own stuff they are.

I enjoyed writing to Casey yesterday. So much so that after I wrote her once, I wrote her again. And again. Until I had written her 6 letters totaling close to 3800 words in one day. In doing so, I worked out details that I had been avoiding or just couldn’t pin down. And last night it seemed so much easier to settle myself for the descent into madness that is sitting down to write a scene. I opened up the file in which I had written a few hundred words of a scene and left off before the middle. And after some cautious steps forward, skittering back nervously, repeat as necessary, I finally put down some words on the screen.

And before I knew it I was through. I wrote 837 words. This morning I decided they were pretty good words, and I should try again tonight.

Thanks, Casey. Talk to you soon.

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Filed under ideas, insecurities, me me me, writing