Archive | June 2015

Letting Go….

kellybuszekeThis was a hard weekend for me. Yesterday, for the very first time, one of my kids left for sleep-away camp. I’m not nervous for her at all, in fact I’m overcome and happy for her to get to experience this, but she’s never been away for this long and the “letting go” without the constant worry is stressful. Thankfully, they already posted a photo of her on their site and I got to see her smiling face. That made it all a bit easier.

But then today, kid #2 started a new day camp. The previous one they were at went smoothly, but they wanted to try something new, so we did. I know there are aspects of this new camp that might not jive entirely with his personality, so I worried all this morning getting him on the bus. In fact, once he left I freaked a little. “Did I pack his bathing suit? Did he have his water bottle? Will he lose his glasses?”

Letting go is hard. I find that in all aspects of my life, especially with my writing. Once a book is finished, edited, proofread, I have to push and convince myself to “let it go.” Release it to the world, for good or bad. But, it’s so hard. I know so many people who are perfectionists and it’s the reason they don’t publish. They can’t give themselves the permission to not be perfect.

I just “let go” my horror anthology RICKET ROW. It’s a collection of tales I compiled for the past twenty years. Many of these stories got very close to getting into magazines so I thought people would enjoy them. For some reason, this anthology was easier to let go than some of my novels. Maybe because I had a few beta readers who enjoyed them first and I wasn’t as self-conscious because I felt a little less pressure about their time. With an anthology their investment in each tale is a whole lot less than a whole novel.

So for this post, I want to leave everyone with this thought. “Letting go is hard” but it’s a fact of life. We lose loved ones, we send our children off to great adventures, we lose our glasses, we say things we sometimes wish we didn’t say. Harping, worrying and dwelling on certain thoughts and not “letting them go” won’t help us if the thoughts are negative. Remember our loved ones and keep their memories close, but give yourself the permission to move on. Let your children fly, don’t worry about material things you lose – they can be replaced.

Hopefully this is not all easier said then done, and I’ll follow my own advice.

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When Your Anthology Hits a Best Seller List: What Do you Do?

A collection of creepy horror tales...

A collection of creepy horror tales…

Hello everyone! I found myself in a bit of a quandary earlier this year. I was working on Book #3 in my Kelsey Porter series and I got stalled. To keep myself doing something creative while I figured it out, I put together a collection of all my horror tales. I figured it would be fun to have a second horror novel in my inventory and since I tend to write more creepy and disturbing than slasher fic, if people enjoyed my horror novel THE MANNEQUINS, they were sure to like this.

What’s it about? Here you go:

Terrifying things are happening to those in Ricket Row. Why do a set of grieving parents dig up a shoebox each week from their son’s grave? Who is that maniacal clown that follows a man home? Why do those teen boys chase after a ghostly girl they’ve never met before? This anthology is packed with tales both psychologically creepy and horrifying. You’ll meet a group of disabled orphans trying to survive a zombie apocalypse and a woman who is getting sicker and sicker, day by day, with no reason why. Or is there? Come enter the horrors of Ricket Row. You’ve been warned.

#13 next to Stephen King!

#13 next to Stephen King!

I soft launched it on Amazon early so that early reviews could come in, with a public launch date of July 15th. But, lo and behold, it started to sell and it quickly hit a Best Seller List. So the question was, do I still wait a full month for the reviews to come in before the public release, or ride the wave and just let the reviews come in whenever they do? If more sales hit quickly, the book would jump even higher in the rankings. So that’s what I did. I released it fully and announced it to all my social media boards and wouldn’t you know, a bunch more sales came in and it has so far jumped as high as #13 in horror anthologies on Amazon (and right next to the amazing Mr. Stephen King, I might add). So, what do you do with this? First, CELEBRATE, and then, watch the boards meticulously so you can keep grabbing screen shots if it goes higher. You want those screen shots to post your book’s progress, with the link to BUY the book, to all your social media platforms. Hit them hard in the beginning to see if you can acquire as many sales as you can. Amazon actually grabbed the book and put it out as a hot new release in the sidebar (first time for me for this) and I’m hoping that helps some sales as well.

If anyone is interested, you can get it here in US for just $2.99 http://amzn.to/1cZb1M8
UK: http://amzn.to/1GsMERK

Hard copy coming soon! Love to hear what you think of it.

You Don’t Have to do Much to be a Helper…

Mr. RogersI was on a business trip this past week in Massachusetts and one afternoon I took a walk around town to find a place to eat lunch. I heard a sound, like a rock hitting the ground. It was loud and sharp and I turned and saw an old lady lying on the sidewalk across the street. I ran over, other people ran over, she was not moving and blood pooled under her head. When someone gently lifted her head to get it off the ground, she thankfully opened her eyes. I went into the Chinese Restaurant next door to get some paper towels and actually had an argument because they didn’t want to part with more than two of them. I ended up getting a bunch, raced outside and the person who was holding her head took the towels and applied pressure. Someone else called 911, other people crowded around. Another person got an emergency kit, but none of us really knew what to do with it and we just looked inside at the assorted bandaids and antiseptic and just sort of shrugged helplessly. I held her hand for a very brief second. I wish I held it longer, but I think I let it go to get the paper towels. The whole experience made me feel quite powerless to do anything.

Thankfully the EMT’s arrived in just a few minutes, at which point I quietly moved away to the sound of more sirens racing to the scene. There really wasn’t much more I could do but voyeur at that point, so I left.

I think it’s this helpless feeling that makes me want to help other people in any way I can. It’s why I tweet other authors or people looking to promote good things, it’s why I reach out on social media to communicate ideas and advice. I like to think of myself as a “fixer.” People call me to talk about their problems and I immediately try to fix them (when all they really may need is just to vent – I have to learn when that is the case, and when they really need advice).

I truly believe this world is full of helpers, but the news confuses us in thinking otherwise. That’s not the case. 99 out of 100 people are amazing. But that one person can leave such a bitter taste in your mouth. Multiply it and that leaves 10 out of 1000 that can cause a heap of trouble. Make that 100 evildoer’s out of 10,000 and you have a real problem. (I hope I did my math right, if not, you get the point)

Mr. Fred Rogers had this great bit of advice that came from his mother and I find it rather comforting. It’s all about helpers and the quote is in the cartoon above. After the Boston Marathon bombing someone had taken the quote and used it for that, but it applies to everything.

I posted this experience to my FB page and was actually surprised how many people were “proud of me” for stepping up. Is it really so prevalent that most people won’t do a thing? Or do we think that they don’t but they really do? Every time I’ve seen an accident, I always see the helpers. They really are there. And I do think the majority of voyeurs who just “stand around” may really not be voyeuring – maybe they are mostly “helpers in waiting” and feeling useless and not having any idea what to do until someone gives them an order.

This old lady, it was just so sad. She didn’t sign up for this that morning. She was dressed nicely for a lunch out, she had her make-up on, her hair had been done, she had a fancy bag, and because of a fall, she ended up lying on a dirty sidewalk with her head cut open. 😦

I guess this post is just to say, “Be present every moment. Help when you can, even if it’s to just get a paper towel or offer a comforting word.” The comfort I take is this: When this woman fell, it seemed for a split second that time stood still. Everyone around her froze. Seeing someone immobile on a city sidewalk is startling, but then a moment later everyone was in action. This lady didn’t lie there by herself all alone. She hopefully will learn that she was surrounded by people who hoped she would be okay, even if they weren’t the ones that could get her okay.

My musings for today…

Just Zip It. Don’t Enter into Political, Racial or Religious Discussions on Social Media.

I'm Not Saying Anything!

I’m Not Saying Anything!

In my blogs I try not to make blanket statements, but this week I’m going to. DO NOT ENGAGE IN POLITICAL, RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS DISCUSSIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. There, I said it.

I’m saying this as a hypocrite, though. I got into a very heated conversation just the other day on Facebook with someone who made a blasphemous comment about race and abortion. I won’t go into my views on these things, but let’s just say I disagreed with his pig-headed, misogynistic statements so very much I could not stop myself from replying.

WHY IS THIS NOT A GOOD THING? Because:

a) You will NEVER sway someone’s mind from your tweet or FB comment. You just won’t. They believe what they believe and are posting their post and subsequent comments to show the world what they believe. Do I possibly think my well-thought out comments, examples, quotes or personal experiences being a woman, when they are not, will sway this person to change their mind’s view? Not a shot. All it ever does is cause an argument back and forth that gets more hateful as the discussion continues because then people from both sides of the fence start chiming in. And usually they will be against you because those “sound of mind” smartly choose to remain silent and not add fuel to the fire.

b) Race – I can’t comment. Honestly, I’ve been rendered mute on this subject by society. Let’s move on.

c) Religion – there is no way around this. You don’t agree with someone, to the militants you are a heathen, to the tolerant you are more gently a non-believer, or to the ultra devout, someone who won’t be saved. I once had a friend who was “Born Again” spend one hour outside my apartment in New York City after visiting me – he was praying for me to “find my way.” I only caught him, kneeling on the dirty sidewalk reading from a prayer book, when I went out to get some dinner. I assured him I would be fine, but that terrible look in his eyes proclaimed otherwise. Sigh… I don’t talk to that friend any longer because it’s hard to have a relationship with someone when they constantly stare at you as if you’re going to suddenly burst into flames before their very eyes. Thankfully, most people are tolerant of each other (I know I am) but you hear the atrocities committed around the world in the name of religion and you just shudder.

d) Politics – this isn’t even worth the effort speaking because it’s all wrapped up in race and religion and never really about changing the world for the better. Might as well not even bother and just exercise your right to vote.

So why really can’t you say anything? Because an author, or any person on the internet trying to get some notoriety, you don’t want to be branded anything but what persona you’re trying to depict. You don’t want haters to find ways to hurt you. You don’t want to egg on the trolls. It really is in your best interest to steer clear of any discussions that can get you in trouble with anyone – even if you feel you are right.

But, if you simply can’t control yourself from saying something, and decide to get embroiled in a debate, just make sure you are prepared for the consequences. Because there will be consequences. Also note that nothing you say will ever really disappear, even if you’ve deleted your comments. Things get saved, printed, snap-shotted, copied. Once you’ve written it, know that it’s there for the world to see. The last thing you want is to finally become famous and your words come back to bite you in the tush. It could be twenty years from now but your little argument on Facebook could one day have a screen shot and there in full glory you will be vilified for a comment taken out of context (or not) from twenty years ago.

Do yourself a favor and don’t let that happen. The media and haters have enough fodder – don’t give them more.