Looking at last week’s goals, I will tell you quickly that this week was more productive than last week. I have no earthly idea how my online persona comes across, but I don’t doubt in the least that my bipolar tendencies show through, whether medicated or not.
I did not get my oil changed, but I did get it scheduled.
I decided to keep writing. I post a lot about this WIP because your thoughts and ideas are important to me. I do feel like this project is going to take years, not months, to do the story justice. Also, I am trying to hone my creative writing skills, not simply tell you a story about events. I am reading much and learning much. I am about four chapters in, and I have rewritten two. I finally feel like I have a worthy first chapter to present to my writing meet up group. I am actually looking forward to sharing with them, and getting their feedback, even if it means rewriting again.
I still have not distributed my paperbacks to the independent bookstores yet. I have been putting that off, in part, because the paperback does not seem to have the appeal that I thought it would. I literally had dozens of people, nurse friends mostly, encouraging me to put the book in paperback form, so I did. So many friends and family said they would love to read it but they don’t have digital reader devices of any sort. I let everyone know that it was ready in POD. So far, I have sold ONE book! Seriously, ONE!
The four five star reviews and one four star review from Reader’s Favorite were used to create one review to post as an editorial on my Amazon page. I think one fairly short review says more than five long, verbose reviews could say.
The Goodreads Giveaway is still going on through March 3rd, so if you haven’t entered, there is still time to do that. In addition to giving away two paperback books, there are also a couple of $10.00 Amazon gift cards up for grabs. I am hoping you can buy more books with the money, but you can spend it on anything you like.
Also, “Red Clay and Roses” is a gift item in a Rafflecopter sponsored by Charles Yallowitz, creator of The Legends of Windemere fantasy series in celebration of the one year anniversary of the release of the series’ first book, “Beginning of a Hero”. There are lots of cool prizes, ebooks and paperbacks by various authors, gift cards, and swag. You can enter; see the gifts, and learn how to earn points here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/24ecf12/
Earning points is easy! These are valuable items, and it costs you nothing but a few moments of your time. Well worth the investment. It is a big offer and there will be many winners. Be a winner!
That wraps up all of my business and author goals. Now on to the other fun stuff I did this week.
For those who follow me on Facebook, you know I babysat grandchildren on Valentine’s Day. The four year old was no problem, but the 10 month old has severe separation anxiety. It was sort of fun, even though it was rather challenging. “Attachment bonding” may be a trendy thing for parents, but four hours of incessant screaming is not likely to help make grandparents feel well bonded to your child.
Yesterday, I finally got around to doing the Zen Floating thing. For those who haven’t heard of floating, it is sensory deprivation and the current fad among the chic and sophisticated. It is supposed to provide for deep relaxation, both mental and physical. Although many claim to have hallucinatory experiences with the depth of mental relaxation involved, I did not have such. Maybe I am on too many psychotropic drugs designed to prevent such nonsense. Now I have had hallucinatory experiences in the past, so I was keen on what to expect. It didn’t happen for me, but it may happen for you.
As you can see, the sensory deprivation chamber is rather intimidating. It is a deep, wide vault of total darkness filled with warm water with a salinity more concentrated that that of the Dead Sea. It is impossible to sink in there, as the salt water makes you buoyant. The door to this crypt is heavier than Ralphie May, closes down on you like the trunk lid of a car, and you are in there naked and alone.
Even for me, not at all claustrophobic, there was an instant, but fleeting, sensation of panic and suffocation. It abated as I stretched out and relaxed in the 94 degree water, breathing the 94 degree air.
I have boiled sweetened condensed milk in the can into caramel. I felt as if I were going to come out transformed in some way from that which I went in. It was not nearly as serene as the pictures below. First, there is no light in there. Second, try to imagine the humidity such an environment makes. I felt as if I were fluidly evolving into some otherworld being. My body, the water, the air, all became as one. It was warm, wet, and weirdly exhilarating. It was also quiet enough to hear the blood pulsing through my veins. The only relief from the lack of any stimulation at all came from the sound of trickling water as I repositioned my arms across my chest.
The first fifteen, or so, minutes was tough. I thought about trying to open the door just a hair to let in some fresh air. I chose not to, because I wanted to have the full sensory deprivation experience, right? Also, like I said before, that door is heavy. You can’t open it from the inside while lying down. So I relaxed and drifted both mentally and physically, melting away into the moments.
I thought I might relax enough to fall asleep and just enjoy not being at all disturbed by anything or anybody. Instead, I wrote an entire chapter of my WIP in my head while I was in there. I just couldn’t recall the words or phrases when I got out. A good forty-five minutes into this, I was floating away into oblivion when I had a sudden image of fifty one and two star reviews on my book. Don’t ask me why. Then blackness, nothingness. Fifteen minutes later, soft music began playing, signaling me that my time was over. I sat up and positioned myself to push the tombstone away. Upon opening the door, I finally had an opportunity to breathe, filling my lungs with refreshment.
I wouldn’t pay fifty dollars to do that again. I did this as a groupon that was gifted to me. While I think everyone might benefit from having done it once, I don’t think it is something that everyone will want to do on a regular basis. There were some benefits; my chronic shoulder pain was relieved, and I was pretty mellow for the remainder of the evening, much like warm pudding.
For our Valentine’s date we spent the evening at the Parliament House gay resort on Orange Blossom Trail, the notorious homosexual/tranny club and motel that is situated on Orlando’s famous hooker haunt. First, we went to the theater and witnessed the hilarious comedy murder mystery, “Carolina Moon”, a campy trailer trash tragedy. The production was performed by two excellent white male actors who played a dozen roles (both male and female) in the story of the trailer park that once occupied the space that the Parliament House is located on and the people who lived there, including (but not limited to) a detective, a couple of rednecks, a drunk woman in curlers whose husband kept her on a leash and who kept her whiskey in a trash can, a black hooker from the trail, Lenny who lived in an iron lung, a scuba diver who owned a one legged duck, a retired waitress, a little girl in a tutu who lived in the dumpster, and of course, the murderess, a woman who built a hundred foot Tupperware sculpture on her front lawn (the Tupperware Headquarters was once located here). Okay, you probably had to be there, but it was funny. There were tons of insider jokes about Orlando, and the whole story of how the Parliament House came to be was told, so it was most entertaining, educational, too. I learned what a plushie is.
Then we dined at the Rainbow Café on lobster bisque and filet mignon. After which, we strolled around the pool patio under the propane heaters, checking out the vendors. I was a tiny bit uncomfortable being a woman in such a crowd even though there were many other women. We went in the sex shop and I had a sudden urge to buy a strap on. My penis envy almost got the best of me, but I didn’t want to have to carry it into the next theater show. The general atmosphere was amazingly warm and receptive. The crowd was extremely diverse, from biker dudes in bandannas to steampunks in steel, all with leather accessories.
To kill some time we wandered through the wildly dressed in the seven dance clubs. The evening was topped off by Ru Paul’s Drag Race season three series winner RAJA in the theatrical production of “The Red Ball”. A colorful and fascinating show to say the least. This was a benefit for The Hope and Help Center, an AIDS awareness program.
Oh, I almost forgot!
My Ereader News Promotional Update:
I put “Red Clay and Roses” in another category this time. Last time I had it in historical fiction and discounted from $3.99 to $2.99. Over the course of two weeks it sold a couple of hundred copies and I felt it was quite successful. Of course the rankings improved.
This time I listed it in literary fiction and again, a couple of hundred copies moved, but at 99 cents.
I don’t think price makes that much difference when people feel like they are getting a bargain because of the way that it is advertised. Granted, the historical fiction subscribers are much greater in number than the literary fiction subscribers, but I did expect to move more at 99 cents. Oddly, the rankings rose significantly higher with #3 made in one category. With a royalty of 35% on 99 cent sales, I’m not racing out to buy a new car or anything. It would be nice to sell in thousands, but hundreds beats zeros.
That’s the wrap up on my week. Next week, I plan to get those paperbacks distributed. Oh! And Write!