Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The last of the late, great blog contests, blogs, other things.

Crossposted from blogetary:

Well, last month's blog contest went over like a lead balloon. But that kind of implies at least a modicum of flight. It's better to say it sank like concrete shoes into the deepest, darkest part of the ocean. No one entered. So, I will not be trying that again.

I have a friend who taught me this saying, "You get up. You put your boots on." Some days that's all you can do. Nothing else but to look before you and try to put one foot in front of the other.

Otherwise, what's the alternative? I try to remember that, because each day brings new possibilities, but the truth is that sometimes the only reality is doing what's before you and realizing it just may not ever get any better.

This should be a post either espousing some great literary, writerly thing, or hawking my wares as an author, or putting my proofreading business out there. Or even trying to sell ad space in the classified section at the Larchmont Chronicle. That's what I should be doing. But, I've kind of run out of steam, you see.

1) I sold a book at a bookstore, but the bookstore, having held onto my books (2 of each) for a year, bless their hearts, sent back the other 7 books.

2) My books on Amazon haven't sold in a year and a half.

3) Haven't sold a book on Lulu for about a year.

4) Haven't sold many books on Alban/Sam's Dot Publishing, either.

5) Classified ads are struggling along, but they are barely paying for themselves. I don't know what I was thinking even taking those on. I'm not a salesperson.

6) Over the last few months, I've averaged about $150/month in proofreading business (gross).

7) The proofreading gig that I had oh-so-briefly and hoped was going to be regular monthly additional income, albeit small (they were getting it for $15/hour instead of the regular $25/hour), and that I hoped would lead me to other proofreading jobs, has gone away. I think I made it worse by begging to get it back.

I've applied to Pavilions/Safeway. That's within walking distance so I know I won't have to worry about being late on the bus. I've sent in applications to temp agencies, but the stuff they have is usually a 2 hour bus ride away and I can't guarantee I'd ever get to work on time. I'm looking for gigs on and Media Bistro stuff is all in New York, but I try there, too sometimes.

I can only do what I can do. I am college educated with a degree in English Literature from a good liberal arts college. I have more than 13 years of experience proofreading and copyediting, as well as editing journal articles and undergraduate academic papers and sprucing up resumes, cover letters and bios. I do a good job.

I am not a book editor. That takes training and an apprenticeship that I have not had. And I'm not a replacement for a writers group where someone can hammer out the good and bad of their work in progress. I am too casual and cavalier in who I am for the corporate business world. No one but my friends and family seem to be crazy about my stories. But I am a darn good proofreader and copyeditor.

I could try to be a barista at a coffeeshop again, but the machines have changed so much since 1996, I'm not sure I'd adapt well unless it were an old school Italian coffeeshop that had a machine with a good pull on it.

I don't know what else to do. I guess we'll see what the future holds.

You get up. You put your boots on.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Well, Hello August

Cross posted from Blogetary:

Realized yesterday that July was over (duh) and I had completely forgotten at least three birthdays during July, if not more. That's July for me.

For me, the month of July is like the hours between 3 and 5 p.m. on any given day. I know they're there. I see them coming. I know that unless I fight it with all my might, my body will become a sluggish bunch of goo at that time. Anything you tell me, I will forget. My brain will slow down and go into sleep mode. And if I do happen to sleep, when I wake up I'll look around and wonder where the two hours went and what a waste of time and I could have been getting so much done....

That's what July is like for me. I saw it coming. I knew I'd probably have little or no paying work coming in. I knew I'd forget everyone's birthday unless it was posted on Facebook. I knew I'd feel like I'd slept through the entire month once I hit August. I tried to prepare for it,  yet here I am, realizing once again that I forgot Pye's birthday, my cousin's birthday and a friend's birthday. *sigh*
In a perfect world, I'd be able to save up enough money throughout the rest of the year to take July off completely. Maybe grab the cat and go rent a cabin or something someplace. Oh well.

So, hello August! Good to see you! Let's see about getting some things done.

On that note, a year ago in August 2012 my novella, Needs Must When the Devil Drives came out through Sam's Dot Publishing. And I still have some copies here. So I thought I might see what I could do to find a home for one or two of them.

A year before that, in June of 2011, my novella The G.O.D. Factor came out through Sam's Dot Publishing. Still have some copies of those. Also could find a home for a couple.

A lot of changes have happened over at Sam's Dot Publishing since these books were published, and where exactly to get these was a musical chair shuffle for a little while. White Cat Publications, Alban Lake Publishing and Sam's Dot Publishing all seem to have listings for Needs Must When the Devil Drives, while The G.O.D. Factor seems to be only with Sam's Dot Publishing and Alban Lake Publishing. And then I think and both have ebooks available. But you can always contact me for copies if you're a little confused or go here.

But you can always get The Holly and the Ivan, Rae's Bar & Bistro, and Uncommon Faire: A Fiction Sideshow through and

In the mean time, if things are a little tight for you financially, but you've always wanted to read one of the above five books, then I'll make you a deal for the lovely month of August. Hot deal. But it means you're going to have to do some work and be creative.

I want a 150 words - essay, story, logic proof, on the one book you'd like the most of the above. You can tell me why you want it. You can tell me a story about it (fiction or nonfiction), you can set up a logical argument for why you deserve it, you can even write what you think the story is (since I'm assuming you haven't read it yet) and make it completely different. Or write me your own story but my novella or book only makes a cameo in it. Whatever. As long as it's no more than 150 words - that's half a page. Then email that to me at rachelvolivier [at] yahoo dot com (make the obvious adjustments).

If I really like your 150 word essay/story/thing then you could get that book that you wrote about for free. If I really, really like it, then I may ask you if I can post it on my blog with the announcement that you won.

Deadline is midnight Pacific Time Saturday, August 31, 2013. I'll contact winners by the end of September.

So, stay cool and enjoy the rest of the summer!