Writerly Wednesday: Stalling and Revving Up

As I enter my second month of having a book on the market, the world stalling comes to mind. When you first release your book, it’s all excitement, big dreams, and blog tours. You’re getting interviewed, your book is getting attention, and then … nothing.

Stalling Out: Entering the Dead Zone

There comes a point when you’ve already recommended (*cough* begged *cough*) everyone you know to buy your book, and there’s no one left to ask. You’re blogging, tweeting, using Facebook, posting on forums, and doing everything else you can think of to remind people that you do indeed have a book for sale. Yet, sales are slumping. You’ve begun stalling out, and every time you check your Amazon page and see a worsening sales rank, your dreams of success begin to look more like nightmares of

dawn-nature-sunset-woman

Want to learn who your true friends are? Publish a book.

failure.

What if no one buys your book? What if sales get so bad that no respectable publisher in the industry dares take a chance on you again? What if you fail completely?

All of these fears are valid. It’s not like you’re a big-name author with offers to appear on numerous talk shows. If you’re like me, you have ONE book out. One. And while marketing a book is and always will be a continual work in progress, you also have a day job. Maybe you have a family, or a partner, or some form of a social life. And on top of all that, you still have to accomplish the most important thing you will ever do as a writer: finishing your next book.

Revving Up: Kind of Like Stalling Out, but Fancier

The truth is that I have no idea how to sell books. I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two in time, but it’s all a huge experiment. However, I know the most important thing I can do right now is work on my next book. I stalled, revved my engine, and now I’m 25K into a new romance. I’m in love with the characters. The setting thrills me. When I’m writing it, the words flow naturally. I had the same feeling while writing EDGE OF SOMETHING MORE, and while it might not be a best seller just yet, I still believe in it.

Happy #writerlywednesday everyone!

My WWOOF Experience Part Two: Bees, Barns, and Other Good Stuff

When I arrived at my WWOOF homestead in North Carolina, the owner and another worker were busy tending to a beehive. This made things a little awkward, because I couldn’t get close enough to talk to them, and there was no one else there. Being thankful for any act that could help the bee population stay the course with the rest of us, I was not going to complain!

I explored around the main house a bit, the inside of which was as interesting as I’d imagined an old North Carolina homestead to be. When I was done, they were still busy with the bees, so I sat and watched them for a while. That was when a few of the other woofers showed up. I was relieved. Backpacking taught me how to go with the flow, but it was still nice to be officially welcomed. I had just driven four hours, and I was hungry and ready to settle in.

Plucked from my Imagination: Life Imitates Art

As I was shown around the property, I began to see how similar everything was to the book. Of course the layout was different, but most of the elements were there. There were gardens and forests all around. There were hens. The other woofers were all nice, nature-sunny-summer-yellowwell-traveled, and intelligent in the same way I had envisioned my characters.

The place had a main house, a smaller house, a trailer, a few different garden areas, some hen houses, some grassy areas, and a big barn. The barn was where I would be sleeping—with a dude roommate.

I know this sounds like a good setup for a romance novel, but nothing of the sort occurred. The sleeping areas were far enough apart to be separated but close enough where we could still see each other and talk if we wanted. Yeah, super awkward. He was nice, so it ended up being okay. Not romance-novel okay. Just normal, polite okay. Life imitates art, but not that much.

WWOOF-USA: Roughing it … Sort of

There was a bathroom at the main house, but it was pretty far away and unavailable at night. At the barn, we only had the woods or the compost toilet, which I won’t describe in detail except to say that it wasn’t the most private setup ever. I didn’t mind going out to the woods, especially in the middle of the night. It was peaceful.

One of the options for bathing was a pond not far from the property. Pond water didn’t exactly make me feel clean, but the pond was nicer than I had envisioned. I was okay with it at first, but then I started waiting until I could shower at the house, which I was originally told I could do. There ended up being issues with that, but I’ll get into it on the next blog.

I’ll also wait to get into the food situation. It wasn’t as I’d hoped it would be, but it wasn’t like we were starved, either.

WWOOF-USA North Carolina: The Stuff We Did

My duties as a WWOOF worker were a little unclear at times, but when I was assigned tasks, they were always enjoyable. The list includes things like:

  • Caring for chickens.applegirl
  • Harvesting beans and produce.
  • Preparing food.
  • Building or fixing things.

I don’t remember every single assignment at this point, just that most of them were okay. I liked the core mission of the place, which seemed to be promoting sustainable living.

WWOOF-USA: What I Learned from My Host

There’s a lot I could say about my WWOOF host, but since I decided to keep this anonymous, I’ll just say that she’s a person with many great achievements under her belt, and I respected that very much. Once she was finished with the bees and could actually talk to me, she taught me all sorts of things about cooking and canning food, working in the garden, planting, and taking care of animals. It was inspiring to see the life that she had made for herself.

Check out My WWOOF Experience Part Three: Why I Left Early, where I share the negative aspects of my experience.

For what led up to my WWOOF experience, check out Part One: California to WWOOF-USA North Carolina.