MidAmeriCon 2 Haul Review :)

I went to MidAmeriCon this week and it was varying levels of…

I went to MidAmeriCon this week and it was varying levels of exciting, exhausting, traumatic, and fun. As cons often are. Haha.

When I was designing and purchasing my own ~author swag~ I saw a few review posts of the swag they got at conventions, so I thought I would do my own for MidAmeriCon, in hopes my opinions help someone else.

The last big book convention I went to was RT Booklover’s Con in 2013 (in KC, because travel is ew and I only go to cons local to me, lmao) and they had several awesome events throughout the week where authors sat at booths and you could just come interact with them and buy their stuff and check out what they had. I loved that, and loved how showing up at RTCon got you a BAG O SWAG and that there was a goodie room, and etc. MidAmeriCon … was more like a rennaissance fair/craft fair thing? Which I guess is fun for some people? Idk if I’m at a book convention, I want to do BOOK THINGS. So.

They had  “freebie table” which was just a few folding tables full of free books and goodies. But other than that… there wasn’t a lot of interaction with authors and publishers like there was at RT Con, so. I was a bit disappointed.

Anyway, of the goodies I did get… let’s discuss.

“Choosing You” Now Available on Amazon

My time-travel romance short story “Choosing You” is available on Amazon! I’m…

My time-travel romance short story “Choosing You” is available on Amazon!

Cover of Choosing You

I’m excited to announce that my first self-published piece is available on Amazon. It went up earlier this week, and already is getting great feedback.

The story follows Collin through high school, college, and into adulthood. He is visited by a time traveler – a woman who claims to be his wife in a hypothetical future… only the timeline has been disrupted, and the two will never meet unless he makes four key choices in his life that will guide them together again.

“Choosing You” is a short story in a conversational, first-person voice, about what happens when deciding to love someone becomes a literal choice. It’s 7300 words long and features a transgender protagonist.

You can get it on Amazon for $0.99, or for free on Kindle Unlimited!

Read an excerpt below:

The first time I met her, she called me Collin.

I sighed, tightening the high ponytail that was uniform-standard at Corey’s Cookies. That’s when I heard her say my name.

“Collin?”

I continued eating my food court Chinese. My name badge, at that time, said Collette.

Awesome Books You Should Be Reading: The Ghost Dragon’s Daughter

The Ghost Dragon’s Daughter is incredible. The story immediately pulls you into…

The Ghost Dragon’s Daughter is incredible. The story immediately pulls you into a world so rich you can taste it. Everyghost dragons daughter page is packed with worldbuilding, atmosphere, and personality. Not a word is wasted.

And the world is awesome. If I’m not mistaken, it is Chinese-inspired, and weaves an urban city and a magical world together into something so very, very fun to read. Math-based magic. Girls creating a magical robotic translation machine. The struggles of modern urban life (debt, mass transit, scraping by ’til payday) in a magical world where demons patrol the streets at night and every person has a spiritual companion animal that they can talk to in their thoughts.

And did I mention the majority of the characters in it are queer?

Everything’s Hard When You Hate Yourself: Productivity while Depressed

I have a chronic form of depression called dysthymia. It’s described as…

hate yourself

I have a chronic form of depression called dysthymia. It’s described as a long-term, milder form of depression (as opposed to a “Major depression” which is intense and can last from 4 months to 2 years). However, tell someone with dysthymia that their condition is “mild” and you’re likely to get a hearty “FUCK YOU.” The difference between chronic and major depression is the difference between having a hole shot through your hand with a gun, or slowly bored through you with a rusty spoon. Yes. It’s so much milder.

Dysthymia cannot be cured. You learn to treat it, to manage it, but you don’t have hope of someday getting back to “normal.” A dull, low-grade ache of depression is my normal, and accepting that is a big part of learning to live with it.

So, when it comes to approaching things like productivity, writing, starting a business, etc. most of the helpful blogs and books are very discouraging. “Just do it! Just get your butt in the chair and work hard!” seems to be a recurring theme. “Plan your goals, schedule your time, and put forth effort.”

So what do I do when there are days – sometimes even weeks – when I cannot “just work hard,” when getting out of bed and feeding myself is about the most I’m going to get done that day, when that looming schedule of things I Have to Do causes so much guilt, shame, fear, and self-hatred that it does more harm than good?

I ranted about this on twitter recently and was recommended two good articles (here and here) which were a great starting point for me, but it took a lot more introspection and planning before I found something that worked for me. And I’m going to share with you in case someone might also benefit from this.

There’s 7 main parts to this: accept the situation, set (flexible) goals, try things out, keep detailed records, get to know yourself, forgive your failures, revise your plans, and celebrate your successes.

Goal Planning and Time Management

I did some serious soul-searching this week regarding my writing and what…

I did some serious soul-searching this week regarding my writing and what direction I wanted it to take. For months it’s seemed like I’m barely keeping up with my projects, let alone able to write regularly. I’ve known for years that I have terrible time management skills, but recently I’ve been taking on a lot and the lack of those skills was starting to seriously stress me out. So I did some research into how I could fix this.

Some of the suggestions were obvious things that I’m just not doing, and a lot of them were just “buckle down and actually do the work.” Something I definitely have trouble with. 😉 But basically, the articles I was reading (more or less everything on the first 2 pages of a google search for “time management skills”) said to think hard about what you want out of life, especially life in the next couple of years. Make a list of measurable goals  then break those down into smaller and smaller (measurable) pieces. So for example, if you want to get out of debt, your long-term measurable goal might be “pay off both credit cards.” Your smaller pieces might be “Pay off $500, $1k, $2k.” Each month, create a list of goals that you want to accomplish that will further your greater goals, and every week, craft a to-do list that directly affects those goals. Anything that doesn’t 100% support and further those goals… they are 2ndclass priorities. You have to get your goal-oriented work done before you can work on the 2nd class priorities (if you have time!).