unconventional voice

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Summer is very slowly beginning over here. Very slowly. At least I’m not freezing all the time anymore, so there’s that.

I changed my mind about this whole Wattpad thing. It just doesn’t work for me; I’m not feeling it at all. So The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy will be as I originally planned, a book with a series of personal essays, written the way I feel most comfortable writing.

I’m only one review away from forty reviews for There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life, and increased Amazon visibility. It would really mean a lot to me if I reached this goal in time for my birthday in a couple of weeks… Even one or two lines on amazon.com would make a phenomenal difference. My first book with forty Amazon reviews: it’ll be the most wonderful thing that’s happened to me since I began writing and publishing books.

Reviews really matter, especially when you’re an independent writer. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who’s taken the time to do this and helped me come closer to this vital goal. No two ways about it… Caring is reviewing. There are even people who resubmitted their review more than once because of Amazon bugs: I have no words.

Wait! I just found out that yet another caring reader who enjoyed the book will be reviewing it. I can’t emphasize enough how much this means to me, how important it is. Reviews put the book out there; shared enthusiasm is a book’s life-blood. And the more, the better.

This is how non-mainstream voices come to be heard—and in an era of monolithic corporations and homogeneity, such voices are more essential than ever.

Although in the coming two or three weeks my attention will be focused upon a “real life” matter (nothing bad), I am getting back to work on this cherished project (which I began at the end of last year, if I remember correctly):

Cafe Sign and Old Car on Route 66

Last week, I took a series of self-portraits featuring one of my treasured vintage polyester shirts and King’s Road jacket. And ultra cheap but awesome gold bling.

Because I’m gold and I’m celebrating it. I’m recognizing it. I’m affirming it.

I’ll be creating a gallery for these 70s flavored shots soon, but in the meantime, here are a few of them:

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One of these photos will be on the back of Hit the Road and Be Who You Are.

I’ll be doing a session for the photo that will be on the back of Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human soon. I’m looking forward to that one. It’s basically going to be a “me wearing a vintage shirt (green!), silver mirrored sunglasses, a crapload of silver bling, and my Snape coat and pants” self-portrait. That book will be about things I experienced during my Professor Snape years and shaped me as a person. From “Orthodoxy” to atheism, baby. The smashed jar of cockroaches will be a central theme. It’s going to be another very personal, raw, joyful book.

I want to finish Hit the Road before the summer is over; Art of Being Human will be my autumn project.

And I’ve definitely not given up on my photocopied booklets project. This another reason I’m not doing the Wattpad thing. No matter how much I try (and I’ve tried), I just can’t spread myself beyond a certain limit. That’s just how it is. And I’m finally okay with this.

Also, you know, macramé. I have these fabulous 70s wooden beads I want to use for a few wall-hangings…

My limits are fine. My yes to this, no to that is fine.

I want to share my happiness, the joy and liberation I’ve come to know, and so I’ll continue writing my small books (because independently published books are expensive, but they’re cheaper if you keep them short!). But there’s another thing: I’ve come to believe that hey, it’s fine to write short books. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn’t make me any less of a writer.

Eight hours later: there are forty reviews for Hula Girl on Amazon, but the total count still shows up as “39”. I’m exhausted as fuck, drunk, discouraged. Does Amazon have a problem with the reviews the book has gotten? Is something fucking up somehow? I’m used to having shit I want being yanked away from me, to seeing it mere inches from my reach, so near yet so far. I’ve worked and waited over two years for this moment.

Also, peri-menopause, and everything that’s been going on since the beginning of the year, is wiping the floor with me right now. Sometimes, stuff catches up with you. On the plus side, guess what fucking holiday I won’t have to acknowledge this weekend (or ever again).

This morning: when Mr P saw me last night, he could immediately tell that I wasn’t feeling especially well. I don’t feel down often at this point in my life, but last night I was as low as I’d been in a while. I slept a lot last night; I still look pretty terrible.

But.

I’m much better. Vastly much.

I am buying cake today, to go with the candles shaped like a 4 and a 0 that I bought yesterday afternoon (when I was holding out against hope), and the little Tiki drink paper umbrellas. There will be cake today. And there will be celebration.

I will take a picture of this cake.

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I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the forty-two people who reviewed the book and who have given me this tremendously important moment in my writing career (well, you know, I’m not sure career is the word… My writing whatever maybe, because I hardly know what it is I’m doing).

Thank you for doing this. For reading the book and writing a few words about it. Thank you for increasing my Amazon visibility for the first time in a decade of writing. This is the best gift I’ve ever been given (my birthday is in ten days).

Thank you for helping me feel that my writing is worthwhile. Thank you for putting the book out there.

C.A. Allen
Cindy A. Salgado
The Thoughtful Sehlat
Ceraia
nickybaseball
Amazon Customer
Amanda Hickerson
Mara Tesler Stein
A. Spielman
Amazon Customer
Chad Jay
CathyGrace
Jennifer Thompson-Thalasinos
fallconsmate
Puma
Book Lady
Liz Hamilton
Iron Lynx
Dan Gillespie
Dani
Alice
Trish
Kristoffer Peterson
Carl D. Smith
Amazon Customer
Courtney Heard
M.S. Cook
Victoria
Nicole M.
Autumn Sky
Roger Griffiths
Marie
Salino
April thrailkille
Lorrie Kim
Brittany
Dan D.
Stéfan Lévesque
BloatedCarcass
Dave Beirnes
Jim Resident
Amazon Customer

I would also like to thank the bloggers, podcasters, authors, and journalists who contributed the first editorial reviews I ever got:

Sean McGuire, Share a Slice with Sean (My Secret Atheist Podcast)
Joshua Kelly, O Your god! The Evil Idea That Is Religion
Stephen Knight, The Godless Spellchecker Podcast
Godless Mom, blogger
Mikki Gorman, Frank Magazine
The Atheist Pig, cartoonist

I would like to thank the following podcasters, who interviewed me about the book as well:

The Intellectual Saviors
The Free Thought Prophet

And I would like to thank The Positive Atheist, organizer of The Non-Conference. I signed more copies of a book of mine (in this case, it was Hula Girl) at his event than at any other.

I would also like to thank The Centre for Inquiry for giving me the opportunity to speak about the book.

Next stop: fifty reviews. If you enjoyed the book and would like to join in the party, please do so.

Today I’m going to relax. I’m going to have a Mama Burger tonight, and cake, and I’m going to use my Sage diffuser, and play soothing chillout and spa music, and treat myself excellently all day.

Again, deep gratitude to everyone who made this milestone possible.

Tomorrow, I’ll get to work on chapter two of Hit the Road and Be Who You Are.

Say cheese.

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