The Summer of Heat and Despair

The Summer of Heat and Despair

Central Texas has been under an Excessive Heat Warning for what feels like months now, and I can’t remember a time in my 42 years when I’ve seen a more pointless advisory from the National Weather Service. What exactly are you expecting us to do, NWS? Get under our desks? Put wet paper bags over our heads? We know it’s hot; we’ve been outside, trying to live our lives. Oh no but it’s like, really hot. No doy. That’s why we’re dropping our kid off at school at 5:30 a.m. even though they don’t open ’til 8. Gotta be smarter than the climate change, as my dad would always say.

In other news, someone asked me the other day how my writing was going, and I can hardly describe the deftness with which I changed the subject. Everything about writing and publishing and marketing is annoying me right now. No, annoying is not the right word. Discouraging. Everything about writing and publishing and marketing is discouraging right now. Nine to midnight used to be my prime writing time, but these days the only thing I want to do after the kids are asleep is put myself to sleep. Netflix still hasn’t called about turning Vise Manor into a limited series, probably because Vise Manor has an actual ending.

I’m so mad at Brand New Cherry Flavor right now. It is such a refreshing blend of humor and darkness and the 90s and Hollywood and revenge and horror, and though it builds to an incredible crescendo, it ends so abruptly. So many people die, nothing is resolved, and Lisa Nova just throws up her hands and says welp, I guess my work here is done. Worse, I can’t seem to find the book the show is based on on Amazon. That at least would have given me some hope of maybe finding an actual ending to this story. Boo, Brand New Cherry Flavor. Boo, Severance. Boo, God’s Favorite Idiot. I’m tired of shows that don’t provide any closure.

Not you though, Midnight Mass. You cool.

(Also, a body hopper named Boro? Where did you get that idea?)

Speaking of body manipulation, Rainbow learned how to roll over a few days ago. Unlike our first child, Matador, we aren’t obsessing as much about her development. She’ll roll over when she rolls over. She’ll walk when she walks. She’ll add, subtract, multiply, and divide when she’s five like her brother. This was one of those milestones where I was alone with her, so I made sure to capture the moment in photos and save the relevant surveillance footage from our Nest camera. It’s funny how we spend so much time waiting for something like this, only to remember a few nights later that now she can roll over in her crib and forget how to roll back and cry, cry, cry.

To our credit, we didn’t go rescue her when she rolled over around 11:30 p.m. last night. She eventually found a comfortable way to sleep, and then at 5:30 a.m., figured out how to roll onto her back again. Never seen someone so happy.

Speaking of being happy, I was able to do a marketing thing this week without feeling the immense guilt every self-pub feels when they desperately beg for reviews. Since my first marketing stunt was basically an invitation, I decided to follow it up with a thanks for staying with us type card. Sometimes you get these from hotels as a way to remind you of your vacation and subtly drive you towards leaving a review (for a free upgrade during your next stay!). In addition to subtly threatening that I know where they live, my goals were to thank them for buying my book, remind them to review, and get them to sign up for my newsletter.

As with my first mailing, I got a lot of text responses from people who had received the reminder who were digging into the book now or moving it to the top of their TBR pile or not what they would call a ‘reader.’ Regardless of the outcome of these mailers, I do enjoy the little chats that come from them. And honestly, sometimes people do need a little reminder. If you do it in a fun and infrequent way, I don’t see a downside. Well, yeah, sure, the money you spend on the printing and mailing, but if you were worried about money, you wouldn’t be a self-pub in the first place, now would you?

I honestly did have a friend tell me, “I’m not much of a reader.” To which I replied, “As a writer, I hear that a lot.

Speaking of readers, Matador is burning through books these days. The above photo is him at school delving into some light erotica. As someone who was exposed to Delta of Venus at a very young age, I’m still not sure when would be the appropriate time for him to start reading more adult titles (as in, Young Adult or Replay or Neuromancer). I remember a point in my own childhood where librarians were stopping me from checking out titles they thought too mature for me, which may or may not have led me to a life of crime. I don’t want that for him. No More Verastiquis in Jail–that’s our family motto.

For now, I suppose I’ll just keep all of Anais Nin’s books high up on the shelf. I mean, if you’re not pushing huge decisions off to some indeterminate date in the future, are you even really parenting?

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Notes From the Author
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