With holiday gatherings ramping up, you might find this helpful. If you’re like me, you’ve spent a liftime being irritated by party no-show’s and cancellers, and worse, taking it personally when it—along with a ridiculously large amount of other things in life—aren’t personal at all.
Reasons why people don’t come to your party:
You know what’s not on this list?
They don’t like you.
Most of the time, a no RSVP or late cancellation is NOT PERSONAL.
For folks who regularly decline your invitations or RSVP yes then continually no show, perhaps they don’t warrant an invite next time. I doubt they realize the work or expense you’ve put in to create a terrific party, and never will. Try not to default to taking things personally and instead, embrace the people who show up for you when you’ve showed up for them. Because gatherings are fun and worth the effort, and I’ll bet you throw a great one!
The launch campaign was a great success, and I am heartened by all the support people showed the book and Weeza herself. The next phase will be releasing the book to retailers, which happens this November!
The Kickstarter campaign for Weeza’s Great Escape runs the entire month of September, and I am SO stoked to be at this juncture bringing this feel-good project into the world. I’ve received so much support and well wishes for little Weeza and this book about her, it’s overwhelming in the best way (cue my heart growing three sizes too big).
I’m calling it a win/win or a woof/woof. Kickstarter campaigns have become a popular avenue for authors to launch their books, especially picture book authors as there are a lot of up-front costs. But what I love most about this platform is how easy it is to offer you additional swag (does anyone else see that word is “wag” with an extra s?) plus signed author copies. And books will be signed by BOTH me and Weeza (a stamp of her actual paw print is at the ready).
Even if you don’t want a copy (but don’t you?), Kickstarter gives you the option to support the project with a donation of your choosing just because you believe in it. How’s that for a solid deposit in your karma account?
What happens after the Kickstarter campaign?
The book will be released to retailers once the campaign ends and orders are fulfilled. So if you want first dibs (plus…cool swag, remember?), the Kickstarter campaign rewards supporters like that.
Head over to the campaign HERE and check out all the categories! You do need an account to become a backer and purchase one of the tiers. But don’t let this stellar opportunity slip away—the book is cheaper than it will be at retailers (not my fault...it’s expensive to print and distribute books nowadays) PLUS you get the s-waggy extras! Please contact me if you have any questions.
Katherine & Weeza
I heard a 23-year-old talk about wanting to give up “many times” already, because she hasn’t made it in the music business the way she’d envisioned. I know at each age of our existence, we have our perceptions, but this floored me from where I sit now and made me think about my own perspective.
Here’s my (very) abbreviated journey as an artist:
Turned books into plays in elementary school.
Dreamed of being a writer when I grew up.
Wrote short stories in junior high (no computers in existence yet…these were all handwritten).
Writing praised by English teachers in junior high and high school.
Still dreamed of being a writer.
Almost majored in English but chose different career path (marcomm related…still creative) because artists starve and can’t make a living.
Wrote more short stories (computers becoming a thing now…hallelujah).
Became mired in addiction and derailed from writing.
Found recovery and plunged in.
Started weekly, then monthly, newsletter to family and friends as writing outlet (it lasted twenty years, and I still occasionally write one).
Got married and created a family.
Still dreamed of being a writer and knew I was ignoring my calling.
Realized good parenting and marital partnership was a full-time job, along with my actual full-time job, managing household and volunteer duties, too overwhelmed to add in anything else.
Became an editorial columnist (this reconnected me to my passion and I stayed one for 15 years).
Became a freelance writer (to hone my skills because back then, you needed cred).
Dreamed of writing a novel—the real calling.
Created my own marcomm company so I could set my own hours and make time to write (one of the biggest leaps of faiths I’ve ever made).
Started working on the novel I knew I’d write since graduating high school.
Didn’t have knowledge of craft so plunged in (how hard could it be?).
Joined writer critique groups.
Three tries and ten years later, had a decent draft.
Hundreds of agent rejections later, self-publish my first novel at 50 years old.
Over next six years, write and publish another novel and four nonfiction books after hundreds more agent rejections.
Last several years, worked hard on craft, marketing, and publishing knowledge.
Vacillated about whether to keep trying to find agent.
Lost mojo, suffered defeat.
Last two years, worked on new projects.
Got mojo back.
Know in my soul writing is still my calling, plus I really dig it, plus it’s incredibly fulfilling to connect with a reader and put something meaningful into the world.
Improve with every project.
Believe in myself.
Not giving up.
* * *
Maybe you have dreams that remain unanswered. Maybe you’ve been hard at work producing your art or pursuing your dreams, but they haven’t quite materialized as you hoped. Maybe you don’t even know what your dream or calling is (you might be surprised how many folks I come across where this is true). Whatever the case, you matter. And this *thing* that you bring to the party that we call life also matters. So, please, don’t give up on yourself, no matter where you are on the journey.
Also, success doesn’t happen overnight for most folks (I’m looking at you, my sweet 23-year-old, who is about to make it BIG). My writing improves with every effort. And that just takes time. Because I can only write one project at a time, go through the process, and repeat. I learn a ton every year, and the whole publishing landscape changes constantly. But I’ve got a song to sing, and so do each of you. Together, we make one heck of a chorus.
So. Keep. On. Singing. Your. Song.
I read many wonderful books this year, but these are the standouts. Here’s why:
Crave: A fun dive into another world. I don’t spend much time in paranormal fiction, but give me a spunky heroine with a brooding, handsome suitor and a secret society, and I’m in.
The Reckless Oath We Made: Refreshingly original. My second book of this author. I’m gonna read more of Ms. Greenwood.
We Were Liars: Engaging, rule-breaking prose plus a twist I never saw coming. Also very original.
You Are a Badass: The best, most insightful, inspirational self-help book I’ve read in YEARS. Put it on your list if you’ve missed it!
Educated: A gripping memoir that reads like fiction...and brings with it potent alternative perspective as you enter Westover’s world.
I hope your year was filled with plenty of good reads and many more to come!
I knew leaving high school that I would write this book one day, and true to myself, it was my first novel. I wrote it for the scores of us who navigated those tenuous waters, and for those navigating it now. While I love to hear from any reader, it's especially heartening to hear from young women in high school, like this gal. You can change the decade, you can change the clothes, you can change the music, but adolescence doesn't change much. And the same scenarios live on in high school, and will forevermore.
If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece or young woman in your life, please consider buying her this book.
Get it here.
I have lofty ideas about human interaction. I tend to crave deeper conversation than what you had for dinner last night, how your air conditioner is on the fritz, or that you’re binge watching Game of Thrones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to listen to all of that, but if our relationship is to have meaning, we’re gonna need to go spelunking to greater depths.
Some of us will, and some of us won’t.
I’ve learned many don’t, or won’t, go there, so I get pretty excited when I find someone who can and will. I get practically giddy when they are enthusiastic about it and we can forge enough trust to have conversations many would find too personal or expose vulnerabilities.
I sometimes have expectations for people along these lines. Especially people I believe I am “supposed” to share a higher quality of relationship with…like family. Shouldn’t they be the ones who want to take a deep dive based on your shared level of love and intimacy?
But about those expectations. I learned decades ago they are just resentments under construction, so having them tends to lead to negative feelings. By having expectations, I create the ideal, dark, murky environment for resentments to grow rich in, so it’s on me. And yet, have them I do, because I enjoy banging my head against the same wall. (In my defense, I do actively work not to have them, or be judgmental or participate actively in a few other shortcomings that like to weasel their way in.)
But I heard The Best Thing in the last seven days that’s made me rethink this idea about folks. I assumed the reason people might not go deep with me—and I refer to people I’m close to, (not just strangers because duh, why would they?)—is because they don’t trust, respect or like me enough to do so or their own comfort level is so low, they avoid getting personal. But maybe it’s because…ready for it?
THAT’S ALL THERE IS.
Maybe they don’t really have deep thoughts or feelings. Maybe shallow waters is where they found their comfort zone and they’re gonna keep wading in it. Maybe they have defense mechanisms learned in childhood. Maybe they’re scarred. Maybe they’re scared. Maybe they’ve never been introspective. Maybe they’re happy on that surface level. Maybe what Jerry Seinfeld once said regarding what men think about (“nothing”) is true. Maybe…truly…that’s all there is.
Just something to think about.
(And remember Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements? They pretty much apply here—and everywhere. 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take any thing personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions and 4) Always do your best.)
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A collection of columns, articles and general a-musings.