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Happy birthday to me!

It’s my birthday today, and I am celebrating thusly:

– trying out the WordPress app. So far, it works pretty much like the email app does, and since I’m used to the email app, that’s good

– starting a new book that I picked up this weekend when I went on my celebratory shopping trip (yes, I mostly celebrated my birthday last weekend, because celebrating in the middle of the week has never been cool to me)

– getting cake at work,  because we always get cake when it’s someone’s birthday.  If not today, then tomorrow or Friday.

And that’s enough celebrating for a Wednesday.

eta: I got a Google Doodle for my birthday! It’s so sweet! (Pun!)

birthday12-hp

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Resolution

Wow, I have sucked at keeping this blog updated, haven’t I? I could say the the holidays have been a little crazy, and that, having stopped, I was a little embarrassed at starting up again, and that would be true enough, but that’s just an excuse, and excuses don’t mean much when your publisher is asking you why you don’t have an online presence.

So, I am making a resolution. You can call it a New Year’s resolution if you want; I’m calling it a resolution, period. I am going to start using this blog. I’ve created a Twitter account, and a widget for that Twitter and for my Goodreads page, and I’m going to use all those websites. That is my resolution.

Happy 2014, everyone!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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First day of winter

Looks like nature rolled out the white carpet this year.

Seriously, I love this kind of weather. Everyone I know thinks I am crazy, which makes me think that they are crazy. Seriously, look outside (assuming that you live in the Ottawa region as well). Isn’t this beautiful? And it’s not too cold (generally speaking), and as long as there’s no ice, you can take nice long walks. Ice is the only thing I really hate about winter.

My friends and family actually prefer the sweltering 30 degrees Celsius of summer, when the only thing you could possibly be motivated to do is lie down and die. It used to be one big pile of misunderstanding and conflict-brewing, until I figured it out. The reason everyone I know hates this kind of weather, meaning the snowy kind, is that they have to drive in it. I don’t, so I don’t give a damn. In the summer, they get to go in their air conditioned cars and drive to their air conditioned jobs and their air conditioned houses, and sometimes to the air conditioned mall and movie megaplex.

The obvious solution here is for everyone I know to get rid of their cars. Then they’ll have to walk to their air conditioned jobs and their air conditioned homes, and etc, and they’ll learn to love winter and hate summer just as much as I do.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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So, how did the launch go, you ask?

Well, it went pretty well, actually.

For one thing, I looked really pretty. I went to the hair salon this morning, and I got a good cut and a really nice style, too. You can tell for yourself, by looking at the video which I will embed as soon as it’s uploaded on Youtube. It’s me doing the reading for the launch.

The reading is another thing that went really well. I did flub a few times, but people were kind enough not to point it out to me. Which is another thing that went well: everyone who came was really nice (except for the one guy who left in the middle of the reading, but let’s not talk about him).

The sales also went well; we sold more books then there were people in the room. I hope to sell even more at the family reunion I am going to tomorrow, and to people from work who couldn’t come today, on Monday.

All in all, I think I’m off to a decent start. Also, I freaking love my book.

 

eta: here’s the video

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Admirer officially launches this Saturday

I should be more nervous about this than I am. I know I will be nervous. I can feel the first butterflies start to form in my stomach. But compared to what I know I will feel at 1:55 (the launch is supposed to begin at 2:30, but I’ve invited people to com in a two, so I expect the nerves to hit five minutes before that) this is nothing. I’m nervous about being nervous, that’s what’s going on.

I have no idea who is going to be there, except one of my uncles, some of my friends who won’t make it until at least 3:00, some reporters from the Ottawa University student newspaper and my mom. My siblings won’t even make it, how pathetic is that? (The only solution I can think of is having mom buy a bunch of copies at the “event price” for them, and then sell those copies back to them for the full price. That was she gets rewarded for actually coming, and I make sales.) This is a serious conundrum for me, because on the one hand, talking to people about myself and my accomplishments is one of my least favorite things to do, but on the other hand, I want people to come to the launch!

I’m keeping myself calm and cheerful by looking at the big picture. The launch is an important event, yes, but it’s only one event. The Admirer is more then it’s launch. The book is already on Amazon, and on bookadda, this Indian online book-selling site.My book is going to be sold in India. This is wild. The Ottawa Public Library already bought three copies. People are going to be able to borrow my book from the library.

So, really whatever happens on Saturday, I’m having a pretty amazing experience.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Navigating the public sphere

… is something I need to learn how to do, pretty much on the spot. Sink or swim type, and isn’t that enjoyable for my anxiety-riddled self? (says she ironically)

I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone reading this post: I have a book coming out. I am really proud of this book. The first draft took 15 months to write, and it took several revisions to make it into the book it is today. Two weeks from now I am going to launch it. At a launch party. People have already confirmed that they will be there. There will be tea served. I will make sandwiches, and sign my book (and shit! I need to practice a decent autograph; I cannot subject my readers to my hideous handwriting) … anyway, it’s going to be awesome.

I want lots of people to come at the launch. I want even more people to read the book. But that means talking to people about the launch, and about the book, and that is so hard. I don’t like bringing attention to myself, I always feel like I’m bragging and boring people when I talk about myself, and I always feel like I’m bothering people when I have to ask for something.

(This attitude has brought on many amusing conversations between myself and many people I know. Yes, I have written a book. Yes, it is getting published. Yes, I am proud. Yes, I am sneaky.)

So imagine how I feel, having to write to a bunch of people I don’t know, and asking them to please talk about my book on their website. Which explains why I’ve been putting it off for days (arguably weeks, but definitively days.) Well, the emails are sent, and I’ll probably have to send more by the time this is done. Hopefully, everything will go well.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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New experiences

One thing I’ve discovered about myself is that I have something of an anxious personality. Not enough to get myself to a doctor and get treatment (although that might speak more to my level of stubbornness then to my level of anxiety) but enough that I have to take steps to manage it. Mostly by a lot of mental preparation and some reward after the fact.

For example, when I start a new job, which thankfully I haven’t had to do in two years.The first morning, I am a mess. I can’t really prepare because I don’t know what will be expected of me. (Even if they explain the job during the interview, for some reason, I can’t contextualize the words.) So the only thing to do is bite the bullet, so to speak. I clench my jaw, I ignore the “what if I suck what if the job sucks what if I hate everyone what if everyone hates me” circling in my head and the pounding of my heart and the knot in my stomach as best I can, and I remind myself that going to the office and doing the job means I will get paid and that money is good, and then I go to the office. And then the same thing happens every time. Someone point at a chair and says “I’m gonna show you how to do a thing, then the thing is going to be your job”, and two years later the job is my routine and the only bad thing that could happen would be to lose the job and have to start all over again. (God please no.)

Another example: I have to go pick up a package at a place I’ve never been to before. I can’t go tomorrow, or Friday, and the place is closed during the week-end, so I have until Monday to prepare myself. I tell myself “Monday, after work, call a cab, go to the place, get the package, get another cab and go back home” and at the end of it, I get what’s in the package, which is something I want, or I wouldn’t have ordered it. So it’s still a little stressful, but less than the new job.

One more example: the publicity stunt for The Admirer that I can’t talk about, because spoilers. I’m not going to spoil anything; I’m just going to say that it involves me doing something that I really don’t like doing, something that makes me really uncomfortable. The something involves a lot of other people, which makes the whole thing unpredictable. There is hypothetically a reward at the end of this experiment – publicity for my book – but even if the hypothesis becomes a proven fact, publicity is such a nebulous concept that it doesn’t really feel like a reward. So how do I deal with that stunt? Either I do the thing I have to do every day as fast as I possibly can and then ride the wave of anxiety, or I don’t do it and feel like an unreliable punk.

The publicity stunt is the exception rather then the rule, though. The rule being If Something Makes Me This Anxious, I Don’t Do It. I’ll do it once, so I can see how I feel doing it, and if I like it, I’ll keep doing it, and if I don’t like it … well, I’ll do it until it either becomes a routine or it stops being an obligation, whichever comes first.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A few of my favorite things

Scented candles. I love scented candles. I especially love the sweet smelling ones, the ones that smell like berries, or like peppermint, or like maple syrup.

Advent calendars. I found this great one today; it’s reusable. It’s shaped like a Christmas tree, and it has a bunch of little boxed that I can fill up with my favorite candy, which is this case would be Ferrero Rocher.

Ferrero Rocher is another one of my favorite things. Why do these only sell during the holiday season? They are selling now, I should stockpile them in my freezer while I have the chance.

Snow. Snow is awesome. We got a little bit of snow last week, and it got me all excited for Christmas. But we’ve gotten nothing but rain since, and all the snow washed away. I hope it comes back before Christmas.

I guess that’s a good start.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Update, for lack of a better title

I had a really, really big surprise today.

After work, I went to the library because I had some books to pick up and to drop off. I expected to pick up four books. I picked up 17.

I was so glad to have brought an extra book bag, because I did need to bag, and my purse. That hadn’t happened to me in a while.

I have no idea how I’m going to read all of those in three weeks. I will have no choice but to renew those I haven’t read when the three weeks are up, and by the time the other three weeks are over, Christmas will have passed, and so will have the time to read those books.

Yes. I have 17 Christmas books that I borrowed from the library. That’s not even the worst part. The worst part isn’t even that I have 28 more on hold. The real worst part? I have absolutely no shame. What can I say? I love Christmas. I’m always looking for good Christmas novels and novellas. Those can be hard to find, you know.

Was I planning to write, at all, in the next little while? (yeah, I know I was). You might have figured, the writing hasn’t been going that well lately. I haven’t written fiction in the last three days.

I’ve been doing other stuff, you know.

Shooting the trailer. Taking my author photo (which you can now see in the about page). Planning and preparing for the book launch. (I have to practice reading aloud at a good pace, because everyone tells me that I always go too fast.) Finish working my way through blog directories trying to find potential reviewers/blog tour hosts. Trying really hard to finish that one book I had to return to the library today, and succeed.

Uploading my novel on Goodreads, then trying to link my regular Goodreads profile to my brand-new author profile and stopping because Goodreads was asking me to “correct” my name and just generally failing to understand the concept of pen names, which lead to creating a gmail account for Aurelia Osborne, which I shall use shortly to create an Aurelia Osborne Goodreads account. I just need to figure out if I should have the same books on my shelves as Aurelia Osborne then as myself.

I guess that’s it for now.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A really good day

That’s what today has been.

First of all, I baked. Remember that “things to do on a rainy Saturday” post I made a while back, the one that had an item reading “baking cookies, or brownies, or both”? Well, I didn’t bake those on that day, I baked them today, and they turned out really well. I’m very pleased with myself, and I get a bunch of sweet stuff to eat as a reward for the time and effort I took.

Then I finished reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, and I just loved it. It was sweet, and funny, and exactly my type. I’m so glad I listened to the impulse that made me buy that paperback, and not to the voice in my head saying “but you don’t buy hard copies of books anymore, you buy digital”. I’m not saying I would not have enjoyed that book digitally, but I might have put off buying it, which means I would not have spent the best part of my day reading it and loving it.

I watched The Princess Bride, and the 1995 BBC mini-series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Again. What can I say, I love those DVDs. Besides, they were mostly background noise while I baked and read.

I also found the last three chapter of my very first Nanowrimo novel, for which the complete manuscript as unfortunately been lost. Those three chapters were on a floppy I found in my office material. (Yes, I was still using floppies six years ago, when I first attempted Nanowrimo, don’t judge me.) (No, my computer doesn’t actually read floppies, I bought an external drive to read them. The story of why I need one is too long for this post, and it turned out to be pretty convenient today anyway, didn’t it?) I haven’t read them yet, but I might, at some point, if I want to reminisces about how good (or, more likely, terrible) I was, see how far I’ve come as a writer, and/or attempt to re-create the lost manuscript of my first Nano, but better.

Last but not least, it snowed today. I love that. Actual snow, and it stuck to the ground. At least a quarter of an inch, from what I can guess judging by my balcony. I need a shovel, to clear out my balcony is case of a fire. It doesn’t look urgent, not for a quarter of an inch, but today was just the beginning: there will be more. So I need a shovel. And a Christmas tree. Watching that snow building up centimeter by centimeter made me want to pull out my Christmas stuff and buy a tree and start decorating. I’ve already put some, most actually, of my Christmas music on my MP3 player, and I listen to it at work. No shame and no regret. Christmas rocks!

So that’s a decent round up. There was stuff I was supposed to do, and didn’t get around to, but I’m not dwelling on that. I’ve had a good day.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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