A couple weeks ago I met this local author in my town. I was sitting down by the bayou, minding my own business (actually doing some writing myself) when she comes up to me out of nowhere and asks “Hi, do you read young adult novels? Are you a teenager?” Now I realize she was just peddling her new book, but I don’t think I look that young. So, nice try.
Anyway, I told her that no, I was not a teenager, that in fact I was in my twenties but why did she ask?
She proceeded to babble on about how she was a local writer and she had just published her second novel for young adults and blah blah blah. It was actually sort of interesting to me, being a writer myself, but the way she divulged the information was slightly annoying. A sort of “look at how accomplished I am” vibe, name-dropping along the way. So, while I was interested to hear how another author had gotten published, I really just wanted her to go away and let me get back to my own work. But obviously she didn’t get the hint. Obviously.
Anyway, we exchanged information and I’ve been hesitant to email her for the following reason:
Not two days after I met her, I happened upon her again in a clothing store. She was (thankfully) so self-absorbed with talking about her novel that she didn’t recognize me (or even see me, for that matter) so I was safe from being sucked into her spiel again. But of course I couldn’t help overhearing what she was saying to the cashier who was attending to her (poor girl, probably didn’t know what she was in for when she got to work that day) and how it was basically exactly what she’d told me. Finally this crazy lady left and it was my turn to pay but wouldn’t you know it, this lady wasn’t finished. She came back into the store to the cashier (who was now trying to take care of me) to pass off some promotional bookmarks (for this girl to pass out to paying customers? What? I’m still confused what this girl was supposed to do with them). She STILL did not recognize or acknowledge me (thankthelord). She thanked the cashier for “helping her out” and finally departed. I pretended I knew nothing of the entire matter.
Look, I’m all about self-promotion. Having worked as a publicist for a small commercial publisher, I know sometimes you catch a break and don’t have to do any of the legwork yourself; that’s what your publicist is for. But more than ever, not-so-well-known authors have to take care of promotion themselves (especially if they’re self-published). But there’s definitely a right way and an annoying way- I mean wrong way- to go about it. And this lady clearly doesn’t have a clue. I don’t care how desperate I am to promote and sell my novels, I don’t think I could ever stoop that low. Not that I’ve ever published anything (oh, except here, here and here) and who knows when I’ll ever be in the position that she’s in (because we all know I move about as fast as a snail when it comes to finishing anything; first novel should be out in about 5-10 years at this rate). But c’mon, handing out bookmarks at the local TJ Maxx? Not exactly your best bet. Just saying.
So now the question is: to email or not to email. I know it can go several ways:
1) She will probably not answer (most likely). She will probably have a) forgotten who I am or b) will be so self-absorbed she won’t make time to respond.
2) She will answer, but only to fill my inbox with more promotional junk and links to purchase her books.
3) She will respond but only to pick my brain in hopes of utilizing my publishing contacts for her own greedy use.
4) She will respond in attempts to help ME in any way possible with my own novel endeavors. However, this will only occur once hell has frozen over, the moon has exploded and/or Obama has been assassinated. Errr, shit, I probably just put myself on the FBI’s most wanted list. Correction: I am in no way saying I plan to blow up the moon. End correction.
I’ll probably just end up emailing her for the hell of it. I’ll make sure to promote the shit out of everything I’m working on and see how she likes it.
So to all my writer fans/friends out there, how far would you go to self-promote? Am I being overly judgemental? Or has this lady gone too far? If you disagree with me, feel free to leave your comments in the trash can, because that’s where I will most likely send them anyway. Just kidding. Or am I?…
Category Archives: community
For some people, living in third world countries, garbage is reality. Living among heaps of trash is part of life and you just become used to it, because there’s nothing to be done about it and nowhere else for all the junk to go. But I’m lucky enough to live in a country that has developed better ways to reduce, reuse and recycle that garbage to make our country, our home, a little cleaner and a better place to live. So why do people insist on littering? Why do we continue to pollute the world we live in when we have alternatives? I’ve never understood it and I guess I never will, because I’ve always had the mentality that the Earth and the environment is a precious gift we’ve been given, not one to be taken for granted and one to be protected and cherished.
Side note: I once got my sister, her ex and I into a spot of trouble because of my passion to protect the environment. We were at a stoplight and the guy in the truck next to us rolled his window down, stuck his arm out and dropped a huge wad of paper onto the road. I called him an asshole out loud, but because my window was down, he heard us. He then proceeded to engage us in a “high-speed chase,” tailing us for about 20 minutes to try and scare us, acting like he was going to ram us. We eventually dodged him, but my sister was pretty shook up (having been the one driving) and her ex was not thrilled with me. I was most pleased with myself for having called this man out on his horrible behavior, and only hope my words serve him well in his future actions. Highly doubtful.
Back to the point, people are going to litter regardless of what I say or do to try and convince them not to, so it’s up to me and others like me to protect the environment (or so I’ve always believed). So I (finally) started a volunteer group with some friends and family to meet locally and pick up trash in the community. Today was the “inaugural” cleanup and although it was a very small group of us, it was still more than just me out there on the side of the road picking up trash like I used to do for fun. In my spare time. Because I have no life.
Anyway, I’m super excited I have friends and family who not only support my undying love for all things eco, but who get out there with me and share the same passion. It’s a truly great feeling to give back, even in small ways. It doesn’t have to be a global takedown (although I’m working on that one next); putting in any effort, big or small, is all it takes. And it feels good to do good.
And if I never see another cigarette butt again in my life, I will be all too thankful. Really, people, most cars- scratch that, ALL CARS- come equipped with an ash tray. It’s pretty standard. And they don’t put it there for you to keep change in (although that’s what I recommend using it for if you’re a nonsmoker, like me- very useful). And I don’t want to hear any crap about how putting the cig out in your car’s ash tray makes your car dirty and smelly. You should have thought about that before you chose to light up. The environment is not your personal ash tray, so stop acting like it. End rant.
In what ways do you and your friends/family give back to the environment? How can we continue to make a difference, even on a small scale?
With my most recent road trip in the books, here are some highlights (including things to do and see) from my weekend in ATL.
Oakland Cemetery. By now everyone knows I’m obsessed with all things gothic/spooky/horrific, so it’s no surprise a visit to the cemetery is first on my list. But whether you frequent these final resting places or not, this specific cemetery is a must. Not only is it a beautiful park, it’s also home to some of Atlanta’s most noted citizens, settlers and Confederate soldiers. I strongly suggest making your trip around the annual Sunday in the Park. The Victorian street festival is a delight for all ages, and whether you dress the part or not, there’s plenty to do and see during this all-day event. With a small entry fee (that goes directly to restoring and preserving the historic landmark), Sunday in the Park is a fun and affordable way to spend a few hours or an afternoon. If you don’t make it to the festival, you can still enjoy a serene visit to the cemetery for free. Either way, put it on your list. Near the top. Just do it.
The Jane. In its own words, the Jane is “a mixed use redevelopment in historic Grant Park.” Conveniently located across the street from Oakland Cemetery, it’s the perfect place to end up after a long stroll through the headstones. Pop into Six Feet Under or Republic Social House for a pint and bite and enjoy the view from the roof. You can thank me later.
Stone Mountain. Possibly one of the only mountains in Atlanta, Stone Mountain is a must for anyone with a love of nature (or at least a general liking of it). If you’re looking for a good workout, brave the steep, 825-foot trek up the side of the mountain. The view from the top makes the sweat and burn to get there totally worth it. Of course, if you’re feeling a little weak (or just especially lazy), you can take the Summit Skyride and get to the stunning view faster. The lift will also get you closer to the Confederate memorial carving on the side of the mountain. Along with the natural aspects of the park, there are plenty of family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy, including rock climbing walls and ropes courses. If you have the opportunity, check out the laser show. My trip to Stone Mountain was only during daylight hours, so I haven’t yet seen the nighttime spectacular but I hear it’s fantastic (and free with your $10 parking fee).
Living Walls. I think anyone can have an appreciation for art, whether it’s their “thing” or not. Living Walls Atlanta is definitely the kind of artsy thing that’s perfect for non-artsy people to enjoy. Summer Hill has a high concentration of murals in one location, but there are others scattered around the city that are worth checking out, too.
There are, of course, a million other things to do and see in Atlanta, but I haven’t gotten to them yet, so you’ll have to figure it out for yourself.
Out of all the silly holidays and pointless days of celebration we have in our society, this is probably the worst.
If you’re currently single and reading this, you are probably nodding your head in agreement and thanking whatever god you believe in that this isn’t another sappy love post about how Valentine’s Day is so great and I am so lucky to be with the love of my life (which I am, but that’s besides the point).
If you’re a fellow lovebird, you’re probably wondering why someone so head-over-heels in love is being so cynical on such a lovey-dovey holiday.
I like holidays and I like having a reason to get dressed up and feel especially giddy, but I don’t feel the need to participate in such a joke. First of all:
No one needs a reminder that they’re alone. If you don’t have a significant other to celebrate this cheesy holiday with, you certainly shouldn’t have to be reminded of just how lonely you are. Google suicide rates on Valentine’s Day and get back to me.
If you love someone, you shouldn’t need a holiday to express it. Love is love no matter what day of the year it is. I’m crazy about my boyfriend every day, I have been since the beginning. And that’s not me being overdramatic and annoying, it’s just the facts. I love my boyfriend, and I tell him frequently. I don’t love him and remind him of my feelings just because it’s Valentine’s Day and society tells me I should. Sure, I’d like to go out to dinner and have a nice night together just like the next girl, but I don’t need chocolates and jewelry and flowers today any more than I do on any other random day of the week- unless he’s proposing. Then it’s a completely different story.
There are no clear origins. Where did this silly holiday even come from? Sure, there was a Saint Valentine, but he had nothing to do with the holiday. It’s just a stupid excuse of a holiday that Hallmark created to sell greeting cards and chocolate.
I’m mostly turned off by how crazy people get over this holiday, both for and against it. It hardly ranks among even the lowest of the low (like Memorial Day and Flag Day), so it hardly seems deserving of such attention.
In reality, though, I’m just bitter because Hallmark insists on relocating any prospective employee to the Midwest (namely, Kansas). There go my dreams of designing greeting cards. Unless I can get my boyfriend to move to Kansas.
I say this out loud with all the love in my heart, as my boyfriend is sitting five feet away and hoping I’ll marry him someday, but generally speaking, I hate him for having it better than me. Men in general have it better than us ladies, and it hardly seems fair at times. Sure, women have their sexuality and can use it to their advantage, but who gives a crap? I rarely use it to my advantage- I have morals and stuff like that- and mostly just don’t want to have to deal with all the crap women have to deal with and men don’t.
And this isn’t me going off on a feminist rant, I just truly wish I was a dude sometimes so I could bypass all the female nonsense and just get away with having it easier. Not saying I don’t enjoy being a woman- ladies, don’t get your panties in a bunch. And men, don’t try and argue that you don’t have it better, either. Because you do. And I can prove it. Why do I think men have it better?
They can pee wherever they want. Unlike women, who have to squat and all that (and we know what a messy situation that can be), men can just whip it out wherever they want and let it out whenever they need to.
They can go topless. Sure, there’s that whole equal rights movement going on in New York where women can go out in public without a shirt on, but people are still staring. There’s never that kind of staring at topless men (the closest second would be insanely good-looking male model-types whose bare chests automatically elicit drooling and ogling from any woman with a pulse within a 100-foot radius).
They don’t have to shave as much. Aside from the occasional face shave (and some men don’t even do that much), guys don’t have to worry about shaving anything. Us women on the other hand… let’s just say we waste a lot of time in the shower shaving certain body parts.
There isn’t as much pressure to be thin and flawless. Men can have bad skin. Men can have a gut or a bit of a muffin top (god I hate that term) and not receive as much criticism from the opposite sex. In fact, some women like their men a little bigger. But in general, society puts the bigger emphasis on women being tiny and perfect, when in reality, perfection just doesn’t exist. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it. I blame the media.
They don’t have that time of month. Do you realize how unfair that is? Not to mention all the money they save on tampons and pads. And then of course there’s the whole childbearing thing. Don’t get me started. Jerks.
Big feet is actually a good thing. Unlike women- namely me, with my size 10.5/11 shoe- the bigger the shoe, the more respect. In fact, the rare man with small feet is the one ridiculed.
They just generally get away with more. That whole double-standard thing- as much as we try and say it doesn’t exist in society, it does- plays in their favor 100 percent. Again, jerks.
Overall, I wouldn’t want to be a man. They are hairy and gross and they smell and they’re just not as pretty and delicate as ladies. I might get annoyed with certain things they do better or have better, but unlike them, I get to play dress up everyday and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Although I still wish I could easily pee anywhere I wanted.