Month: November 2018

ESCAPE! Anthology Cover Reveal and ARC Giveaway

The Writing Bloc short story anthology is almost here! Twenty authors have come together to challenge the norms of indie publishing. We’ve worked together to write, edit, and design a fantastic collection that features science fiction, fantasy, Westerns, and contemporary fiction.

The anthology’s theme is “Escape” and founder Michael Haase says, “As readers, we open books ready to be swept out of our seats and deposited in a world entirely new and exciting. Reading is an escape from our normal lives and thoughts.”

My story is about a woman who has joined a Zen monastery to escape a history of sexual trauma. When she develops a crush on an attendee at the monastery’s young adult retreat, she soon becomes engrossed in social media getting to know him. Was her choice to join the monastery just an attempt at an easy out from her trauma? Is Facebook a distraction from her journey toward healing or an escape from the rigors of monastic life? Will she stay or will she go?

I’m so honored to be published alongside authors like Tahani Nelson, Jason Pomerance, and Patrick Edwards.

Pre-orders will begin on Black Friday and the collection will be released on January 1.

Today you get to see the cover!

If you are a book reviewer or blogger, sign up for one of the 100 free Advanced Reader Copies here!

Take the Money! Graciously Accepting Payment for your Art or Creative Services

On Thursday, I spoke at a NaNoWriMo kickoff event hosted by the wonderful nonprofit, Inlandia Institute. People seemed to enjoy the workshop and I met some nice people! Afterward, I was surprised and humbled when Inlandia presented me with an honorarium. As a former board member of the organization, I guess I knew in the back of my mind that this was procedure. I just hadn’t thought it applied to me. Honorariums are for real writers, I thought. Professionals. I don’t have enough experience. I wanted to do the event. It was fun for me and a nice way to get my name out there. I didn’t think I deserved it.

                                

I toyed with the idea of just giving the money back. It was so nice, though– I spent money on my Rock of Ages campaign, and this was a way to recoup. I won’t get any royalties for the book until after it’s published, and I won’t get any for the 750 preorders I had to get to have it published. I could definitely use the money.

Eventually I realized I should keep the money, at least a good portion of it, and I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. I’m giving 10% back to Inlandia because I so value the work they do and I want them to know that. If you are lucky enough to get something like this honorarium for sharing your creative work, here’s why you should stop feeling guilty too:

  • Accepting money for writing, or for teaching people about writing, sends the message that writing is valuable. Stories enrich our lives.
  • Writers do so much work that is not paid. As I mentioned, I put money into my crowdfunding campaign. I don’t get paid to blog or send out newsletters. I don’t get paid to write the 1000ish words a day that I usually do. Getting paid occasionally for something isn’t just payment for that workshop or story or whatever. It’s payment, and validation, for that workshop or story and all the unpaid work you do. It’s a gesture from the person or organization paying you that they value all the creative work you do and how it enriches the world.
  • Just because you like doing something does not mean you shouldn’t get paid for it. Really, we know this, but sometimes think it doesn’t apply to us. If you do something because you want to, and then you get money for it, celebrate! That’s amazing!
  • You deserve it! Thinking you don’t is just another nasty way imposter syndrome tries to talk to writers. Whoever gave you the money thinks you deserved it. Believe them!

So send a sincere letter of thanks. Be grateful and gracious. And then keep creating!