Facing Fears

Creative Commons photo by Michael Labowicz

Creative Commons photo by Michael Labowicz

My book comes out in four days.

Exciting, but scary.

I had no idea that after I signed that publication contract, a whole bunch of fears would resurface. Or that I would develop new ones.

Back in the day, if you asked me what I was afraid of, I’d list two things: spiders and lightning. Life was an adventure and I did all kinds of crazy things.

But now…

I am happy to hide in my house. I prefer to stick with the known rather than explore the unknown. I gave difficult circumstances power over me. I tried to put my trust in myself to fix things and make them better rather than trust the God who created the universe.

The hard truth is, I cannot succeed at being a writer, color guard director, wife, or mother if I live in fear.

I must do something about this fear.

And thanks to my friend, Stacey, I have a plan.

I am going to face something that downright terrifies me.

I am going to learn how to ski.

Don’t laugh!

Skiing terrifies me. I’ve only ever gone twice in my life and spent most of the time as a human snowball. Hated every minute. And, to top it off,  I have a Frankenknee. So taking risks is something I just. Don’t. Do. Anymore.

Friends and family, before you freak out on me and beg me not to, I am not going at this alone. My friend Stacey, an instructor at Vail, is going to help me through this process. She knows what fear can do to a person. Skiing helped her overcome. She challenged me to face this fear in order to learn to overcome the others.

So. What is your fear?

How are you planning to overcome it?

*I got the picture from Flickr, added the words. I know there is a “proper” way to link to the usage license and stuff, but I have yet to figure that out. I tried, but need to do more research.

 

Website building for people who make idiots look smart.

Libraries have free wifi!

Libraries have free wifi!

Wow.

My brain hasn’t had to work this hard since my days at Houghton College. Sure, I have been learning all sorts of new stuff in the past twenty years, but the stuff I’m having to learn now?

Completely foreign.

I have no frame of reference to pull from. And much of the information is so new, there are few people I know who are operating under this new paradigm of being a published author.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I have learned how to build a functional website. The process has been painful at times, but worth it. I can update my we site and re-arrange whenever I please.

What have I learned so far that may be helpful to you?

1. If you are producing a lot of unique content, consider buying a registered domain. That way, what you write/photograph/draw/create/compose is YOURS. No one but you can claim it. I am using Hostgator. It is only about  $13/yr to have a domain that is MINE. And it only costs about $6/month for them to host it. That means they are techie minions who keep your site live and available to readers. And provide security.

2. Go to Google (or Bing) University. All the information you need is there. For free. On the web. However, use good judgement when choosing a source. Like, I found a bajillion sites on how to build an author website. Some of them were downright scary! Red scripted font on a dark purple background? Really? More like a what-not-to-do! If the person’s web site looks great, you can probably trust what they say. If not… click the back button!

3. Resist the urge to just skim over terms and acronyms you don’t know. Google them. And give yourself grace in regards to the time it will take you to do so.

4. If you mess something up… well… you can delete it! I struggled with installing plug-ins and widgets (still trying to wrap my brain over the difference). Things went wrong. Then I found the little red “x” icon. To undo what I did. Use it freely. You won’t know unless you try and fail a few times.

5. Know this is all gonna take a long time. I mean, a looooonnnnnnnggggggg time. You will not have a stellar site in a day, week, or years. That is okay. Guess what? While your website is in the “merely functional” phase like mine, not many people will be seeing your site. Mostly likely they are people who know you and love you and will not judge you by your website. Keep doing research. Look at other website. Note what you like or don’t. And play with yours. Keep playing and making it better.

That is all my brain can process for now. Besides, I have more research to do. Like, on how to put the Follow Me buttons in my header, rather than have them at the bottom of the footer where no one will find them.

 

Cover for my novel, SPIN is released

My hands are shaking, heart is pounding, breath coming in quick, short bursts.

Why?

Minutes ago the cover image of my debut novel showed up in my inbox. With permission to share.

Publication of SPIN has been a dream for 13 years. During many of those in-between times, I thought it was over. Thought it would never happen.

Enough of my blabber.

HERE IS MY BOOK COVER!

spin-almost-final-front

The actual book releases on September 20, 2014. It will be available in soft cover and electronic forms. Amazon, Kobo, iBooks… all those online places will have it.

I need someone to hit me with a saber. Oh. Wait. That will happen shortly when I go to guard rehearsal!